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tory of Kenfrew 

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At a meeting of the South Renfrew Farmers Institute on the 
eve of the birth of the twentieth century, Mr. A. A. Wright, who 
had then been for thirty years one of the town s most active and 
public-spirited citizens, and who was destined within a year to 
be the Riding s representative in the Parliament of Canada, sug 
gested the commencement of an historical record of Renfrew, 
with a yearly synopsis of the chief events in its affairs. The sug 
gestion took root in the mind of the writer, at that time the pub 
lisher of The Renfrew Mercury; and in the first issue of that 
paper in 1900 appeared a synopsis of the events of 1899 and 
also the announcement that the editor had in view the prepara 
tion of a history of Renfrew in its early days; and had asked for 
the assistance of Mr. Henry Airth, Sr., in its compilation. 

The work of collecting historical data was diligently pursued 
during the year, and in The Mercury of October 26th there was 
further announcement that the historical record would be begun 
fn that paper s columns early in 1901, and that the editor was 
having the help of Messrs. Henry and David Airth, Robert Mc 
Laren, John Smith, W. N, Faichney, Joseph Gravelle, Mrs. Eady, 
Sr., and other of the older residents. 

The first instalment of the promised Story appeared in the 
issue of The Mercury of February 8, 1901, with this introduc 
tory note: 

"In this story of the early settlement and growth of Renfrew, it 
has as a matter of course been found difficult to fix actual dates for 
some of the events long past. Indeed it has been a matter of surprise 
to the writer to find how accurate is the memory of the Messrs. Airth 
from whom most of the story of the earliest days has been ob 
tained and how well they have been able to trace back events and 
locate them with considerable exactness from concurrent happenings. 
A chief concern with them has been to get everything of moment as 
correct as possible, a commendable feature in historians; and if it so 
be that any reader finds inaccuracy in date or happening which can 
be proven, both the historians and the writer will be glad to have the 
matter brought to their attention, that due correction may be made." 

The Story was continued in The Mercury by instalments for 
a couple of years. Then, as the writer became absorbed in muni- 


cipal duties having been elected Mayor of Renfrew for the 
year 1901, and re-elected by acclamation in 1902 and 1903 
he had to relinquish, for the time being at least, the gathering and 
transcribing of the Story. A few years later he invited Rev. Dr. 
Campbell, who had retired from the active ministry after a resi 
dence in Renfrew of nearly forty years, to take up the duty of 
historian, and the chapters from his pen will be found to be 
charmingly told, with a kindly picturing of the old-timers he had 
so intimately known. 

Upon the death of Dr. Campbell on Christmas day of 1907 
the original historian again took up the work of the Story, and 
continued it for a time in the pages of The Mercury; until once 
more caught in the time-exacting swirl of municipal politics. 

Now, in 1919, having retired from business, with leisure to 
again delve into history, the continuation of the Story is contem 
plated, but it has been decided to issue at once in book form so 
much of the work as has hitherto appeared. That this would 
some time be done had been the intention from the beginning; 
and each week when the type of the Story was taken from the 
newspaper columns it was "made up" into the form of book 
pages, and 200 sheets printed in that style. 

Both in its literary and typographical form, the writer is well 
aware that this volume exhibits many imperfections, for which 
the haste of newspaper work must be held responsible. The por 
tion written by Dr. Campbell excepted, the Story is not the 
product of the pen of a leisurely historian; but rather the com 
pilation of a driven newspaper writer who, then in the prime of 
life, had many other duties to distract his attention. Similarly in 
its mechanical preparation there is apparent in some respects the 
ephemeral character of the newspaper, rather than the "finish" 
of book-printing. Commenced in hand-set type each individual 
letter placed in position by the contact of the human finger, 
the central portion was composed on the Thome type-setting 
machine, which placed the individual types or letters in proper 
order by mechanism; while the concluding pages were printed 
from linotype slugs all the letters cast in a line from a mold, a 
modern invention which has revolutionized the newspaper indus 
try, one man operating the machine doing what five men were 
accustomed to do in the days of hand composition." It is 
appropriate that note of this great invention should be made in 
a history of Renfrew; because one of the four or five men inter 
ested in the development and marketing of the linotype, was 


Andrew Devine, scion of one of the pioneer Renfrew families, 
and who became known in the capital of the United States as 
one of the most proficient reporters for the Congressional Record. 

But, with all its imperfections, it is hoped the Story will be 
read with interest by many of the Renfrewites of later genera 
tions; and will be found useful in after years through having pre 
served touch with the pioneers and their works. 

It is the writer s purpose to continue the history, and in an 
other volume to deal with the people who followed those whose 
record is herein given, and with the steady advance the town and 
district has made under the industry of the pioneers successors. 
In this succeeding volume also there will have to be some looking 
backward, for this present Story does not touch upon the estab 
lishment of the Church of England and Baptist congregations in 
Renfrew; carries along the story of the Roman Catholic congre 
gation only to the beginning of the priesthood of Rev. Father 
Rougier; does not record the founding and development of the 
Separate School and Convent, nor the early history of some of 
the influential fraternal societies. These omissions will be made 
good in Volume II. 


Renfrew, October, 1919. 


Written in the first place as a newspaper article, there are many 
references in the Story to places as occupied by so-and-so at the time of 
writing in 1901 to 1908 that may not be well understood by, the people 
of Renfrew in 1919, when this book is issued. For instance, on page 1 
the residence of Allan Francis is referred to. That fine residence at the 
north side of the town is in 1919 owned and occupied by F. D. Vickers. 
McVeigh s blacksmith shop, referred to on pages 2 and 10, was near the 
foot of Main Street, and in 1919 is occupied by Mason & Donohue. John 


Smith s garden, also referred to on page 2, is at the head of Main Street, 
directly opposite the Dominion House; having gone through several own 
erships since 1901. "Down towards the convent" was written on page 2. 
The convent then was east of Main Street, where in 1919 stands the 
residence of J. L. Murray, at the corner of Barr and Quarry Streets. 
The convent in 1919 is on the west side of the town, on Bonnechere Street, 
opposite the Collegiate Institute. "P. DougalPs present property," re 
ferred to on pages 3 and 11, has practically disappeared in 1919; the car 
riage shop, now gone, having been located on the east side of Main Street, 
nearly opposite to Patrick Street; the Dougall residence near by being 
owned in 1919 by A. E. Spooner. "The residences of S. McDougall and J. 
Harris," also referred to on page 3, are in 1919 owned by C. A. Dewey 
and J. Church, between Renfrew Street and the C.P.R. station. "Bren- 
nan s store," mentioned on pages 10 and 12, has also passed into other 
hands. For some years it was owned by G. A. Ellis and in 1919 is owned 
by the Renfrew Produce Co., managed by J. J. Tierney. "David Airth s 
stone house," also referred to on pages 10 and 17, is in 1919 owned by 
Robt. Steele, and, instead of standing alone in farm fields, is part of a 
group of houses known as the Barnet sub-division, a development of war 
time industries in Renfrew. "Where Mr. Adam Lindsay did business in," 
mentioned on page 11, in 1919 is occupied by the Renfrew Journal. "The 
Roberts planing mill" written of in 1901 is the property of the Renfrew 
Manufacturing Co. in 1919, and stands across the road from Thos. A. 
Low s office building at the foot of Main Street. "The rough-cast house" 
owned by Wm. Hastings in 1901, mentioned on page 19, had been 
brick-encased by 1919, and stands near the south end of the Creek bridge. 
"S. Moffatt s residence," on page 19, is in 1919 occupied by Geo. 
Thacker (on Opeongo Street); Mr. Moffatt having some years ago re 
moved to the lower end of Argyle Street. "The G. W. McDonald resi 
dence," to which there is reference on page 78, stood at the corner of 
Albert and Elgin streets, and in 1919 is occupied by J. McN. Austin. 


The First Settlers, from 1820 to 1830 1 

How the People Fared in 1830 . 5 

The population in 1830, page 6. 

The Corning of the Settlers . 7 

The population in 1840, page 10. 

18401850 11 

The wise policies of Xavier Flaunt The mercantile growth 
of the community Development of the County as described 
by W. H. Smith in 1850. 

The Early Roadways 17 

Roystering shantymen fined 10 apiece build first Bonne- 
chere bridge at Renfrew. 

The Early Churches and Preachers 

The Early Schools . 26 

The Early Mills . .... % 28 

Early Lumberers 29 

Early Marriages 29 

Early Postal Facilities 

Early Municipal Affairs 

Survey of Horton Township 32 

The First Fraternal Society . 34 

The Agricultural Society 44 

The Freemasons 48 

The Schools from 1850 to 1870 49 

Biographical Sketch of Rev. Dr. Campbell 58 

Introduction by Rev. Dr. Campbell 59 

1850 1860 Period: Who and What Manner of Persons 

the Citizens of this Period were 6 1 


The Fifties Period Political, Municipal and General . . 88 

Local Political Affairs 1852 to 1861 91 

County Affairs and County Problems 93 

Separation of the Counties Agitated 95 

Efforts to Secure Railway Communications . . . . . 97 

Other Counties Council Data 99 

Improving the roads Forest fires from Horton to West- 
meath Patriotic Funds of the Crimean War Petitioning 
for Prohibitory Liquor Act Hudson s Bay Territory incor 
poration with Canada. 

Township Municipal Matters from 1849 to 1858 . . .101 

Ross and Horton, including Renfrew, a united township, 
page 101 Timorousness about going into debt to rebuild 
Smith s Creek bridge and build roadways, page 102 First 
tax rate l 1 ^ cents on the dollar, 102 The method of licens 
ing taverns, 102 First auctioneer licensed, 103 Proposal to 
grant aid to Crimean War Patriotic Fund defeated, 104 
Early roadbuilding policy, 104 The erection of Renfrew 
into a village, 105. 

Village Municipal Affairs 107 

Electing the first Council, page 107 Choosing the municipal 
motto, 107 George Ross appointed Clerk-Treasurer, 107- 
The laying of sidewalks, 107 Economists oppose improve 
ments, 108 Social relations and conditions, 109 An early 
Literary Society, 109 Organization of the Renfrew Me 
chanics Institute and Library Association, 109 Athletic 
sports of the 1850-1860 period, 110 The early Church 
socials, 110 The services of the Church of England, 111. 

Period 1860 1869- - Those who Joined the Pioneers . 112 

The Schools from 1870 149 

Commencement of the Free School System, page 149 Build 
ing of a new Public School, 151 Establishment of Model 
School in Renfrew, 152 Engagement of Charles McDowell 
as Headmaster of High School, 153 Purchase of land for 
and erection of High School, 153 Wing built to Model 
School, 154 E. Newton Jory engaged as principal of Model 
School, 156 Sale of the original Grammar School, 157- 
Public School grounds enlarged, 159 Skating and Curling 
Rink on High School grounds, 160 Council converts Me 
chanics Institute into Free Public Library, 160 Proposition 
for Agricultural High School, 160 Hugh W. Bryan engaged 
as teacher, 160 Purchase of site for and building of Vic 
toria Ward School, 160 Proposition to organize company 
of volunteers in High School, 161 First proposal for Col 
legiate Institute, 161. 

Municipal Events from 1860 to 1894 163 

Robert Morgan appointed Village Clerk and John Munro, 
Sr., Treasurer, page 164 Renfrew s First Lock-up, page 
164 The selection of the County Town, page 165 Pur 
chase of the Orange Hall as a Town Hall, page 166 H. 


Municipal Events from 1860 to 1894 (Continued) 

Airth, Sr., appointed Treasurer, 167 Resignation of Town 
Clerk Morgan; Henry Bellerby appointed in his stead, 167 
Payment of salaries in decimal currency for first time, 168 
Appeal for telegraph communication, 168 First proposal 
for Fire Brigade, 168 Enforcer of Bylaws appointed, 169 
Difficulties in paying small tax rate, 169 John Burns ap 
pointed Treasurer, 170 Town Hall fitted up as a school, 
170 Reeve chosen by ratepayers for first time, 170 Spe 
cial census in 1868 shows population of 844, 171 Construc 
tion of Lock-up, 171 Construction of Bonnechere Bridge 
for $1,400, 172 No election in 1871 because of absence of 
ratepayers, 173 Corporation votes money to bring Canada 
Central Railway to Renfrew, 174 John D. McDonald ap 
pointed first Town Solicitor, 174 George Eady, Jr., appoint 
ed Treasurer, 175 Condolence with members of families of 
James McAdam and James Tierney, who lost their lives in 
fire, 175 Hand fire-engine purchased, 176 Fire Company 
organized, 176 First offer of bonus to industry, 176 Grant 
for Fair buildings, 176 First bylaw for licensing places of 
amusement, 177 Robert Drysdale chosen Clerk, 177 
Andrew Frood appointed Street Inspector, 177 Two poll 
ing divisions created, 178 James Kearney appointed High 
Constable, 178 Proposition for planting of shade trees, 178 

Proposal to relieve Renfrew from C.C. R y bonus, 179 
Sinon O Gorman appointed Collector, 179 Provincial Sub 
sidy to Kingston & Pembroke R y urged, 179 Repayment of 
taxes to Separate School, 180 and 183 Erection of Roman 
Catholic Separate School, 180 K. & P. R y asks for bonus, 
180 First Main Street sewer built, 181 Bylaw passed re 
straining animals from running at large, 181 r John Scott 
appointed first Chief Constable, 181 First Board of Health 
appointed, 181 Wing built to Model School, 182 Request 
for hospital, 182 The first wire bridge across Bonnechere, 
182 The Public Square in North Ward, 183 Petition for 
first electric street lights, 183 Preparation of plan of the 
village, 183 First suggestion of waterworks, 183 Recon 
struction of Burwell s bridge, 184 Organization of Com 
pany No. 5, Volunteers, 184 Special census taken in 1888; 
population 2,624, page 185 Proposal to sell old town Hall, 
185 B. J. McDermott as policeman, 184, 185, 186 Henry 
Leggett appointed Chief Constable, 185 Incandescent elec 
tric lighting installed, 185 Bylaw prohibiting cows from 
running at large all year, 185 Final settlement of Hincks 
Public Square, 186 First Deputy-Reeve chosen, 186 Pro 
posal to purchase steam fire-engine, 187 Willis Chipman 
reports on sewerage, 187 Establishment of three polling 
places, 187 Sons of Temperance donate Fire Hall lot, 188 
Fire Hall erected, 188 Fire limit bylaw passed, 188 By 
law to erect village into a town, 188 J. K. Rochester ap 
pointed Clerk, 188 First dumping ground arranged, 188 
Proposal for a Union Station, 188 Second electric light 
company given license, 188 Renfrew s first Finance, Fire 
and Light, and Relief Committees, 189 The founding of the 
Creamery, 189 First hook and ladder truck purchased, 189 

An iron bridge over the Bonnechere, 189 Incorporating 
Renfrew as a town, 189 The famous wire bridge, 190. 

The Voters at Renfrew s First Municipal Election . . 190 
The County Council (by S. E. Mitchell) . .191 


Three Pioneer Settlers From Whom Many of the Facts of the 
Early Portion of the Story of Renfrew Were Obtained 





One of Renfrew s first Landowners. 
A Wise Town-Builder, who gave 
free the sites for most of the 
town s original school and church 
buildings and its first railway 
station yards. 


The First Actual Settled Farmer in 
what afterwards became the Town 
of Renfrew. 

One of the Pioneer Settlers, whose 
Family Homestead Farm just to 
the South of Renfrew still remains 
in the Barr family. 


Who came to Renfrew in 1844, and 
who was respected and prosper 


The Kindly Patriarch of the French 
family long connected with the 
history of Renfrew. 


One of the Early Settlers of Ren 
frew and the First Man to Vote 
when Renfrew became an organ 
ized Village in 1858. 


The Pioneer Woollen Manufacturer 
of Renfrew. Founder of Renfrew s 
first Brass Band. 


A Sagacious Pioneer in Municipal 
and Educational Affairs in Ren 
frew County. 













Postmaster from 1864 to 1901, suc 
ceeding George Ross 

Pioneer and Successful Merchant 







Dr. Evans and R. C. Mills were also members of the first Board cf 
Education when Renfrew was organized as a village in 1858. 



The Trusted, Jovial Citizen of the 
18501870 Period. 


Pioneer Lumberman and Developer 
of Renfrew Industries. 

For a long time Principal of Ren 
frew Public School. 

A Man of Deep Sympathies, to 
whom in Goshen Cemetery is 
erected the first Public Monument 
in Renfrew County. 


One of the first permanent Settlers; 
father of the first white child 
horn in Renfrew. 


The First White Child Born in 


The Founder of Well-known Lime 
and Stone Industries. 


Pioneer Tanner and Son of 




The above block of illustrations was published in the Jubilee Mercury 
(of July 31, 1908), and hence covers a somewhat longer period of munici 
pal development than is treated in the letterpress of this volume. Two 
photos are missing those of John Munro, Jr., Reeve in 1861, and of 
Felix Devine, Reeve in 1866. By error the engravers had placed some 
one else s portrait than Mr. Devine s as the fourth in the top row. Mr. 
Devine s portrait will be found elsewhere in this book. 

Top Row John Smith, James Airth, J. L. McDougall. 

Second Row W. Halpenny, Jas. Ward, W. N. Faichney, Dr. O Brien. 

Third Row P. S. Stewart, Thos. Henderson, Edward Mackay (Dep 
uty Reeve), James Craig. 

Fourth Row James Clark, Allan C. Mackay, H. N. Moss, W. E. 

Fifth Row F. M. Devine, Wm. Mills, John Mackay. 

Pioneers of the 1840-1860 Period 








Men Whose Own Activities Were in the Period of 1850-1900 
But Who Represent Pioneer Families 







Men Whose Own Activities Were in Later Days 
But Who Represent Pioneer Families 




Pioneer Merchant in Renfrew (in 1844) and M.P. in the 

1860 Period. 





Member of a Pioneer Family, Suc 
cessful Merchant for Half a Cen 
tury in Renfrew, and for Seven 
Years Reeve of the Village. 


For Fifty Years Active in the Busi 
ness, Educational and Civic Affairs 
of Renfrew, ex-M.P., Postmaster, 
and who in 1899 Suggested the 
Writing of the History of Renfrew. 


Member of a Pioneer Family but 

whoso own kindly activities were 

in a later period. 


first appearance of the white 
man on the river afterwards 
known .as the Bonnechere was 
probably aboutthe year 1820. 
He came for lumber. Skirting along 
the shores of the Ottawa or "Grand" 
river, he entered the mouth of a 
stream large enough to induce ex 
ploration. An almost sunless path of 
water was that along which he 
paddled ; for the evergreens formed 
a dense wall along the sides of the 
stream, and the lofty deciduous trees 
reaching out, as they will, to the 
open and the light, almost met in a 
network of foliage high above the 
water. So, even at the noon hour, the 
rays of the sun hardly penetrated to the 
water course below. There were some 
waterfalls or rapids around which he 
had to portage or carry his canoe ; hut 
on the whole the stream was so much 
quieter, so much less tumultuous than 
the neighboring river, which flowed 
into the Ottawa some miles below the 
Madawaska that, in time, the French 
Canadians, who were the pioneers in 
the lumbering industry, gave to it the 
name Bonnechere or "good river." 
As the lumbermen proceeded to work 
along a river, to suit their own con 
venience they made a clearing, a place 
for a shanty, and possibly a small gar 
den or farm. By some it is said that 
Joseph Brunette was the first of the 

lumbering jobbers to make a clear 
ance on the river at that point which 
afterwards became Renfrew. While 
Brunette was to some extent entitled 
to be known as the actual pioneer of 
Renfrew because he remained for 
some years, and died here there is 
little doubt that the first man to make 
a clearance was one Coyle, and that 
the place where he felled the trees to 
make an opening for his shanty was 
in the rear of the house afterwards 
erected by John Lorn McDougall, and 
in 1900 owned by Mrs E, Mackay. 
Somewhere in rear of that house, but 
on the west side of the gully which 
runs between it and the residence of 
Mr Allan Francis, was Coyle s shanty 
erected. He remained for only a 
year or two, and then went back to 
" the front." A season or so after 
wards, probably in 1823 or 1824, Bru 
nette followed. He was spoken of as a 
French-Canadian, but though became 
from Lower Canada he had some 
Dutch in him. He was what was 
known in those days as a lumber 
squatter. Like Coyle, he had paddled 
up the waters of the Bonnechere on 
lumber jobbing intent. But while he, 
continued to give some attention to 
this branch of industry, he settled 
down as a farmer. He laid claim to 
200 acres. Of this he cleared some 25 
or 30 acrf-s lief ore his death in 1832, 


when he was about 60 years of age. 
He was the first to be laid away in 
what is known as the McLaren ceme 
tery : a plot on the McLaren home 
stead farm, just to the south of the 
town s limits. He was a married man, 
but had no family. His wife was a 
smart, bright mulatto ; it was said, 
had been a " play actress." Brunette 
built the first residence in Renfrew, 
that is the first building that justified 
that title. It was a sided, dove-tailed 
log house, every stick of of it red pine, 
and the shingles of white pine-- 
"shingles that were shingles," made 
by hand, and laid only four inches to 
the weather. The house stood on 
what is now the west side of Main 
Street, nearly opposite the McDougall 
homestead, and just a little further 
down-street than where Mr McVeigh s 
blacksmith shop is now located. The 
house afterwards became an hotel ; 
managed at first by Peter Cameron ; 
afterwards by one Vondette ; then by 
John Muuro ; and later still by Laur 
ence O Reilly. This building was torn 
down some time in the seventies. 

As will be gathered from what has 
been said earlier, at the time Brunette 

made his clearance, all about him was 
wooded land, except the few acres 
that Coyle had cleared. On the east 
side of what is now Main street, that 
is, from the Dominion House down to 
wards the Convent and the river, the 
trees were principally maple, elm, oak 
and bassvvood. It was a clean bush, 
with very little underbrush. The 
basswood trees averaged two feet or 
more in diameter; the elms, some 
what less. Their average height 
would be about 65 feet. There were 
a few fine tall green pine just about 
where the Dominion House now 
stands, and in what now is Mr John 
Smith s garden there was a fine grove 
of pine and cedar. Centre town then 
was wh t at is known as an " ash 
swale," a low wet spot of good land, 
timbered by ash and oak. Where the 
High School now stands there were 
balsams and spruce. The biggest oak 
in the settlement was on the rise of 

ground where the Separate School now 
is, It came down in a storm. On what 
is now known as "Thomson s Hill," to 
the south of the town, up between the 
residence of Abram Eraser and the 
Renfrew cemetery, there was the fin 
est hardwood grove in the neighbor 
hood : -beech, black birch and big 
maples. Along the river bank, the 
forest was mostly evergreen, red 
pine, spruce and cedar. 

Brunette was practically monarch 
of all this for a year or two, with un 
der his sway his wife and three hired 
helpers Antoine Beaucharnp, An- 
toine Descheau and Oliver Bruyere 
(known to the uftercomers as Blair.) 
They divided their time between lum 
ber jobbing, clearing about their 
house and growing a small patch of 

About 1825 the first survey of the 
township was made, an employee of 
the Government, named Quinn, doing 
the work in the township, which if 
not then named Horton was so de 
signated very shortly afterwards. It 
is supposed (according to Gardiner) to 
have been so named after R. J. Wil- 
mot Horton, an English M.P. who 
was active in promoting emigration 
to Canada about that time. 

About this same time, (1825) the 
Scotch Line section of Lanark 
count} (either Bathurst or Elmsley) 
gave Renfrew its next settler. 
This was Thomas McLean. He 
was a stone rnason by trade ; 
but what is more to the point, 
so far as Renfrew s history is concern 
ed, is that he had a brother who was a 
doctor, and this brother had served in 
a professional capacity in the British 
army and had received grants of land 
in return for these services in the be 
half of his country. Part of this 
grant was 400 acres in what was after 
wards to become the town of Ren 
frew. In order to hold it, tVie doctor 
had to have settlement made upon it ; 
and so it came about that he gave it 
to his brother Thomas whether as a 
gift outright or in return for some 
consideration is not now known. One 


block of 200 acres extended from the 
town line of Adrnaston to the second 
line (or Main street) of Horton ; and 
the other from that to the third line. 
In the other direction, the blocks ran 
from the Dominion House corner 
down to the end of Patrick street, or 
to the end of Mr P. Bengali s present 
property. McLean at once proceeded 
to have the land cleared ; giving the 
contract for the chopping down of 
some fifteen acres of bush on the west 
side of the second line to John Came 
ron, who came along from Glengarry 
shortly after McLean himself ; and a 
contract of about the same size on the 
east side of Main street he gave to 
John Hall, who was one of three sail 
ors (the others being John Brill and 
John Dale), who had come to this 
country on a man-of-war, and had 
drifted up the Ottawa on shanfying 
work. Hall built a little shanty for 
himself, while he was at this work, 
down near the small gulley-way that 
runs across the town near the O.P.R. 
station, the building being erected 
somewhere in the plot between where 
the residences of S. McDougall and J. 
Harris now stand. McLean proposed 
to settle here in good faith, and to 
bring his family with him. So he 
built a house in the rear of where Mr 
N. Dean s store now stands. It was 
counted a "snug little shanty" in 
those days. Of course it was formed 
of logs, but was large : in fact, was 
practically a double house. And as he 
was a mason himself, he had the 
"know-how" to make it comfortable 
in many ways. He built his barn a 
little to the east, nearer Main street 
(about where Mr A. Gravelle s Main 
street property now is situated.) This 
barn was afterwards occupied for a 
time by Messrs Archibald Thompson 
and W. N. Faichney as a blacksmith 
shop: sometime in the Forties. McLean 
put in one crop. It was fall wheat, 
and it rusted so badly that he simply 
used it for thatching his barn. Per 
haps it was partly this failure, but 
more likely it was the fact that he 
had a family of young children about 

him and saw little opportunity for 
having them educated if he remained 
in this vicinity, that led him to con 
template returning to the Perth sec 
tion. Fortune favored him in his de 
sire for the change. McNab town 
ship had been settled a short time pre 
viously to his coming to Renfrew, 
and the old Chief McNab was in the 
habit of going down to Montreal to 
seek to induce the newly arrived 
Scotch emigrants to come this way. 
One time he secured some ten families. 
Among these was that of Sergeant 
Henry Airth, who had been for four 
teen years in the Ordnance Depart 
ment of the Royal Horse Artillery at 
Rutherglen, near Ghisgow, and who 
had come to Canada with his wife and 
seven children, to seek a home in 
which his young people might have 
more chance for pi osperity than in 
the congested old land. The Chief 
secured his favorable attention, and 
he came along to McNab township ; 
taking up a farm in that section 
which is now known as Goshen. But 
there was friction between the old 
Chief and the settlers, and matters 
did not go as smoothly in the district 
as Sergt. Airth desired. So he was 
led to think of change. He had be 
come acquainted with Thomas Mc 
Lean through Jas. Roffey, an old 
drummer in the British army, who 
had come to Canada from Jamaica 
and had received his discharge at Que 
bec. In one of the Sergeant s neigh 
borly visits to McLean, it became a 
matter of conversation that the latter 
wished to go back to Perth ; and as 
Mr Airth also desired to leave that 
part of McNab where he had been lo 
cated for fifteen months, in due course 
an arrangement was made by which 
the Sergeant was to have possession 
of two hundred acres of McLean s 
property at a rental of 24 a year. At 
the same time, McLean rented the 
other 200 acres to Joseph Mayhew, 
who had also come into the district by 
this time from Chateauguay on 
lumbering intent ; but who, two or 
three years after his arrival* thought 


he saw an opportunity to settle down 
to better purpose: meantime having 
married Miss Charlotte Hanniwell, of 
Nepean. He rented his portion of the 
farm for 20 a year ; the difference in 
the amount paid by him and by Sergt. 
Airth being due to the fact that the 
latter bad a better house, and in it a 
stove and a chest of drawers, and out 
of it a few head of cattle extra ; the 
cattle being included in the rental 
price. Sergt. Airth moved up from 
his McNab property in the winter, 
some time in January, 1829 ; and 
brought along his wife and seven 
children Agnes, afterwards Mrs 
David Barr, sr.; Elizabeth, afterwards 
Mrs Angus Mclnnes ; Henry, David 
aud Robert (the two latter twins) ; 
Marion, afterwards Mrs Wm. Jamie- 
son ; and Catherine, afterwards Mrs 
Alex. Jamieson. William, James and 
Mary (afterwards Mrs Robert Mc 

Laren) were born in this country : the 
two boys on the McLean property ; 
Mrs McLaren on the Aii-th homestead, 
to the east of the town. 

Mr Mayhew came to his farm in 
March, 1829, bringing his wife and 
his son Joseph. They took up resi 
dence in the building which had been 
erected by John Hall, previously 
spoken of, in the centre of the land, 
down near where the C.P.R. station 
now is. 

The Airth portion of the McLean 
farm ran across from the 1st Conces 
sion to the 3rd, and from the Domin 
ion House corner down to nearly the 
Post Office corner. Mr Mayhew s 
farm also ran from the 1st to the 3rd 
Concession, and from the Post Office 
down to Patrick street or to the end 
of Mr P. Dougall s property. Brun 
ette held from that point down nearly 
to the river bank. 


So it was that in the year 1830, 
what is now the town of Renfrew 
had three property-ownersJoseph 
Brunette, Jos. Mayhew, and Henry 
Airth. And a census would have 
shown a population of 21 ; composed 
of Joseph Brunette and his wife and 
two helpers ; Joseph Mayhew and 
his wife and two children (for his 
family had heen increased by a son, 
named Ira, who was the first white 
child horn in Renfrew, and still lives : 
a resident of Manitoba) and two helpers 
or "hired men;" and Sergt. Henry 
Airth and his wife and eight children 
(for his family circle, too, had been 
increased by another son, William, 
tVie second white child born in Ren 
frew, and deceased in 1897) and Mr 
Roffey, who worked with him. 

The crop put in that year by the 
Airth family was a few acres of spring 
wheat, a little oats, ten or eleven 
acres of Indian corn, and some pota 
toes. The crop was put in with hoes. 
David dropped the first potatoes 
they were of the " Cup " variety on 
the plot which had been cleared near 
the corner of Main and Opeongo 
streets, where the Wright block now 
stands. The peas an d corn were drop 
ped on the soil which covered the 
rocks that of late years have been so 
rapidly eaten up by the Jamieson 
lime-kilns, in rear of the Roman Cath 
olic and Presbyterian churches. At 
that time, the rock surface outcropped 
at only a few points ; and over most 
of it there were ten or twelve inches 
of fine soil. The exposure of the soil 
to the sun through the felling of the 
trees, the cultivation of the thin strata 
of earth, and the washing of some of 

it into the fissures of the rock, in the 
course of a few years cleared the soil 
completely off the face of the rocks 
and left them in that bare condition 
in which they have appeared for so 
many years since, that many have 
been sceptical when told that crops at 
one time grew on that forbidding 
looking hill. 

The market of the three farmers 
was of course limited. The only pur 
chasers of the produce grown, were 
the lumber jobbers. For the first few 
years, any buying the families did 
was at Perth, to which town the men 
had to trudge on foot ; carrying their 
loads on their backs. Their milling 
business for the first year was done at 
Pendergrast s on the Quebec side of 
the river, nearly opposite the mouth 
of the Bonnechere. The grain was 
loaded into canoes at Clear Point, 
which even then was cleared of trees, 
and from there was paddled down the 
Bonnechere, portaged around the 
First Chute, out into the Ottawa and 
across the Chats (pronounced " Shaw ") 
Lake to the mill on the other side. 
The miller was paid by toll : one- 
twelfth being his share. 

Not over luxuriously did these pio 
neers live. The first season or two, 
" totties " (potatoes) were their prin 
cipal item of diet. An occasional deer, 
or a string of fine suckers or black 
bass from Hurds Lake, provided 
them with " meat " for the first year 
or two. After that, one yoke of steers 
was killed ; and soon after that, again, 
sheep and hogs were imported. Mess 
Pork was sometimes purchased from 
the shantyrnen as they passed along. 
Dear meat it was, too. Often, 20c. a 



lh. The liquids that so many at the 
present time seem to find necessary as 
a part of their daily sustenance tea 
and coffee these pioneers had to do 
without. It is true that in the Airth 
family they did from time to time seek 
to get a pound or two of the real 
Hyson or Twankqua tea; hut this 
was sacredly reserved for the old 
grandmother, who had been accustom 
ed to it in the old land. $1.50 a pound 
they paid for it, when they did get it. 
But though the pioneers denied them 
selves of the imported luxuries, they 
endeavored to provide themselves 
with substitutes. Tea they made, of 
a kind, through steeping maiden-hair 
or Labrador ferns in boiling water ; 
or mint, sometimes ; or summer 
savory ; and occasionally, hemlock 
boughs, though this decoction was 
usually used as a medicine. Another 
medicated tea was made at times from 
the " crockles" of the maple a skin- 
like substance, somewhat resembling 
moss, which exudes from the maple, 
and has a considerable amount of 
nutrition in it. Of these, the Labra 
dor fern made the tea that tasted the 
best. Sometimes a few pounds of re 
fined sugar were brought in from the 
front as a luxury ; but the staple 
sweetening was the sugar made from 
the maple trees. Loaf sugar cost 
.them 25c. a pound. 

While the town of the future has 
thus slowly grown to a population of 
twenty-one by the year 1830, and with 
the addition of one or two more babies, 
remained as it was until 1884 or 1835 ; 
the country around it had been grad 
ually filling up. It has been mention 
ed that the old Chief McNab had, -on 
one of his trips to Montreal, induced 
ten families of newly arrived immi 
grants to come up to the settlement 
he had organized in McNab township. 
Besides Sergt. Airth s family there 
were in this group, John Mclnnes, 
Alex. Stewart (bachelor), Jas. Wilson, 
Andrew Hamilton, sr., Andrew Ham 
ilton, jr., Daniel Mclntyre (afterwards 
known as Flat Rapids D;>n). the 

Browns, a Perston (who returned 
home to the old land), and one Ander 
son, who did not long remain in the 
neighborhood. Most of these settled 
to the south-east of where Renfrew 
now is and some fifteen or twenty 
miles away. Somewhat nearer the 
future town or about what has since 
been variously known as McGregor s 
Corners, or Goshen or Cat-swell P.O., 
where Sergt. Airth had first settled, 
he had three families for neighbors 
those of Peter McMillan, John McDer- 
mid, and Duncan Campbell, all from 
Perthshire of the old land. But the 
land immediately surrounding the 
future town, even that to the south, 
had not been taken up. A good many 
Scotch people who had come out to 
Canada early in the 20s had settled 
in Lanark, Bathurst and Ramsay 
townships in the Bathurst District ; 
county lines not then being laid. 
And they had been disappointed. 
The land was poorer than they had 
expected. Dissatisfied, they were led 
to push on for something better. 
Among those who had not found all 
he had expected was Robert Forrest, 
who had come out from Lanarkshire 
and settled in the Lanark township of 
the new country in 1821. He deter 
mined to look for a location of more 
promise, and petitioned the Govern 
ment to the effect that the land he 
was on was so poor that he could not 
.make on it a decent living, and asked 
the privilege of being allowed to lo 
cate on an equal acreage in the new 
township of Horton, where it was 
told to him that the land was better 
adapted to farming. His petition was 
granted. In 1827 he came on to the 
Bonnechere, and called on Sergt. 
Airth for advice. Together they 
looked over the property on the Se 
cond Line which afterwards became 
the Forrest homestead. Mr Forrest 
himself took up 100 ncres where Mr 
Samuel Forrest now lives, and his two 
sons, William and Robert, also took 
up 100 acres each (being the proper 
ties now occupied by Joseph Knight 
and John Stewart. 


Next year, 1828, Thomas Costello 
appeared on the scene. Originally 
from Ireland, he had, after a short 
stay in Quebec, settled in Perth ; but 
in a year or two came further into 
the woods, prospecting. He settled 
on the land ever since farmed by him:- 
self and his descendants on the 4th 

In 1830, Bruyere (or Blair) who had 
been Corking for Brunette, located 
on. the land to the south-west of the 
town, where Mr Robert Carswell s 
farm now is. He made a clearance, 
built his shanty, and brought his fam 
ily from L Assomption two or three 
years afterwards. 

The next settler was James Stew 
art, who came from Sterlingshire dir 
ect to this section. He picked out 
100 acres on the 1st Concession, where 
the John McRae mill was at one time, 
and where the John Farquharson 
farm now is. He was the father of 
Alexander and John, (of Horton), 
Donald (of Renfrew), Robert (of Brom 
ley). James (of Pembroke), and of Mrs 
Reid, of .Grattan ; of Mrs Ward and 
Mrs Eady (of Renfrew), and of 
Mrs McVean (of Pembroke.) When 
Mr and Mrs Stewart arrived in 
Renfrew only two of the family had 
been born, Alex, and John. The 
rest were Canadian born. The family 
slept their h rst night in Renfrew in 
the Airth home. This was about the 
ynar 1830. 

Peter McGregor Crime ;ibout the 
same time. He was from Beckwith 
or Drummond, and settled on the 5th 
linp. His was a 100 acre farm, also; 
and his grand-children are still on it, 
and have added to the acres. 

John Forrest, sr.. was the next im 
migrant. He was a younger brother 
of Robert, and came direct from the 
old land to McNab. on the verge of 
the Horton town line. He picked on 
the land where Mr David Blane now 
is. He had two unmarried sons, Sam 
uel and Andrew. 

About the same time came John 
Mclntyre. He took up the land 
known afterwards for a great many 
years as " Allan McNab s." Mclutyre 
had made a clearance and built a 
shanty. But he died very soon after 
from quinsy, and for a year or two 
the property was vacant. 

Peter Mclntyre, a brother, came on 
the same vessel to Canada, and took 
up the farm now known as the Mc 
Laren homestead, now occupied by 
Mr John B. McLaren, a mile south of 
the town. 

In the same vessel there came an 
other family of Mclntyres, from 
Perthshire Gregor, Duncan and John 
and several sisters, as well as their 
mother, the father having died in the 
old land. They were not relatives of 
John and Peter, hut were friends and 
had been neighbors in the old land. 
They h rst went to Beckwith, where 
they had acquaintances : but did not 
care for that section of country, and 
came on, following the other Mcln 
tyres into Renfrew. Even here they 
were not thoroughly satisfied ; and 
determined before locating permanent 
ly to investigate Western Ontario. 
John, of the one family, and Gregor, 
of the other, started off on a pilgrim 
age westward, on foot, making their 
forty miles a day. However, the 
west to them presented no greater 



attractions than the east, to which 
they returned. In the meantime, 
Duncan had located on the farm 
which is still the property of his son 
Duncan ; and Gregor went in with 
him in working 1 it for some time : a 
few years afterwards purchasing the 
property which had been taken up 
by Squire Joshua Ritchie, and which 
is now farmed by Mr Gregor Mclntyre. 

Other settlers of this time were the 
Martins William, Alexander, John 
and Thomas. They had been in Dal- 
housie, Lanark county ; and first came 
this way prospecting, and then came 
to farm. But they all had a good 
business trait in their composition. 
They did more than farm. They did 
some lumber-jobbing. " Kept store. " 
Made and sold potash. And prosper 

All these had practically located be 
fore 1832. 

And now to go back to the town 
or the town that was to be for a 
time. Brunette, the original settler, 
died in 1832. His widow and his bro 
ther Antoine continued to work the 
farm for a year or two ; and then 
went over to the north side of the 
river, starting the farm which after 
wards became the Thomas New home 
stead. Brunette s home, being near 
t*he river, had been used for a stopping 
place ; practically was the first hotel. 
Antoine kept it tor the same purpose, 
and when he and the widow moved 
over the river, it fell into the hands 
of Peter Cameron, who made it more 
distinctively an hotel. He had the 
west side of the property. The east 
side, or the property on the east side 
of the concession line or main street, 
was occupied by Antoine Beauchatnp, 
who had been with Brunette. 
Trouble there was from time to time 
over the title of the land ; one Quinn, 
a surveyor, having claimed it. 

In the fall of 1833, Sergt. Airth also 
made a move. He had rented the Mc 
Lean property for five years ; and al 
though he remained on this farm in 
what is now the heart of the town 
for that length of time, he had mean 

time " located " on the 200 acres be 
tween the 2nd and 3rd concessions, 
which is now the homestead occupied 
by Mr David Airth, and where the 
Sergt. grew the first two crops while 
still living on the older farm. His 
companion and helper, Roffey, at the 
same time had located the adjoining 
200 acres, to the south ; which after 
wards became the Barr homestead, 
now occupied by Mr Wm. Barr and 
his son, David, Jr. By this time, 
Xavier Flaunt had come to the neigh 
borhood to work for Joseph Mayhew. 
He was a faithful and pushing young 
man, and soon after coming had be 
come the possessor of the Blair farm 
on the hill (now Robert Carswell s) 
a team of horses forming a part of 
the purchase price. When he heard 
that Sergt. Airth was to leave the 
McLean farm, it entered the young 
man Plaunt s head that he would 
like to get the place. So he journey 
ed to Perth to see what arrangements 
he could make to get the farm from 
McLean. He was successful in his 
mission. He and Mr McLean agreed 
upon a price for the farm ; the Blair 
farm being taken by Mr McLean in 
part payment. And the young man 
was successful in more than making 
a bargain for the land. He became 
acquainted with McLean s daughter 
Jeannet, and though at that time 
Xavier " had not much English " 
that is to say, had not great command 
of words that the young lady could 
understand, what he could say made 
such an impression on the young 
lady that in the course of a year or 
two she consented to return to Ren 
frew to become the wife of the young 
French-Canadian farmer, and one who 
was to have a material part in devel 
oping the place into a centre of pop 
ulation. Joseph Mayhew remained 
on his part of the village farm for only 
a year or two after the Airths left to 
take possession of their new farm ; 
and then their 100 acres also fell into 
Mr Plaunt s hands. 

So that in 1834 or 1835, the original 
three farms covering most of the 



ground where the town now stands 
were occupied hy Xavier Plaunt (who 
was on the farms occupied hy the 
Airths and Mayhews in 1830), and by 
Peter Cameron and Autoine Beau- 
champ (who were on the Brunette 
farm near the river.) 

In either 1833 or 1834, there was 
quite an immigration to the neighbor- 
hood. Among the newcomers were 
David Barr, Wm. Jarnieson, and 
John Forrest, Jr., all from Lanark 
shire, Scotland. Barr and Jamieson 
were unmarried. Forrest, who was a 
son of the John Forrest who had come 
out a year or two before, received the 
name Sunnyside Forrest from the plea 
sant appearance of e.his hillside farm 
(now occupied by Wm. Pulse), and was 
a married man. He and David Barr 
at once purchased from Roffey the 
farm now known as the Barr home 
stead (under the shadow of Thomson s 
hill), and started to work it in part 
nership; also taking up some lots in 
Bagot and Admaston townships. 

Some of the land in the neighbor 
hood had fallen into the hands of the 
pioneer surveyors of the district. The 
Devlins were among these surveyors, 
and located on property near the 
river. In 1833, they sold this land to 
James and William Gibbons, who 
came from Drummond, where 
they had been farming for several 
years. The land they settled on is 
now mostly owned by Mr John B. 
Gibbons. George Gibbons, a younger- 
brother, came with them, and fora 
time lived with William. 

Thomas Knight, an old soldier, also 
came from Drummond about the 
same time. He was a married man, 
with a family of ten children ; and 
settled on the north part of the Cos- 
tello property. Another family 
which settled to the east about this 
time was that of Wm. Richards, who 
came originally from the old country, 
to Drummond, then settled in McNab 
for a time, afterwards locating where 
the stone house of Mr John B. Gib 
bons now is, and finally moving to 

the part of the township on the north 
side of the river. 

Duncan Ferguson, afterwards for 
many years the teacher in the dis 
trict, came from Drummond at the 
same time as the Gibbons and Rich 
ards families. 

William Jamieson, who had come 
to this country with David Barr and 
Sunnyside Forrest, did not remain long 
in the neighborhood at the outset. He 
went to the front, to Drummond, but 
after a few years returned, and took up 
the lot now owned by Robert Leitch 
and bought the adjoining lot from Guy 
Seeley. Before Sergt. Airth left his 
village farm in 1833, John Campbell, 
John Bremner, George Cardiff, and 
Archibald Patterson had become the 
pioneers in what was afterwards to 
become the well-settled township of 
Admaston. They first prospected and 
located on the lands that they thought 
would be good, and in the course 
of a year or two returned with 
their families. The Browns, Sulli- 
vans, and Groves families came up in 
to Admaston shortly afterwards. 

About this time, too, the settlement 
commenced to thicken on the north 
side of the river. It will be remem 
bered that the widow of Antoine 
Brunette had crossed the river and 
made a clearing. This was about 1833; 
and some time in that or the follow 
ing year William Burton came into 
the locality from Drummond. About 
the same time came Duncan Fergu 
son (father of Mr Alex. Ferguson, of 
Renfrew), who commenced to clear 
what of late years has been known as 
the Baker Smith farm. Mr Ferguson 
remained right along, but Mr Burton 
went back to the front for a year or 
so, and then returned to Horton. He 
was a widower and brought with him 
his two daughters and a son. He 
settled on what has ever since been 
the Burton homestead, descending to 
his son William, and now the home 
of the latter s son George. Guy Seeley, 
an U. E. Loyalist, was an early settler. 
He worked in Renfrew in 1830 or 1831, 
and was the first settler on what 



afterwards became the Jamiseon 
homestead. Guy was married to a 
daughter of the late Jacob New, an 
Englishman, who had worked with 
Capt. Bell at a sawmill the latter had 
erected at the First Chute, hut died 
soon after coming to the country. His 
widow and family moved on up the 
river in 1833 or 1834, and settled on 
what has since been the Jas. New 
homestead ; the several sons hewing 
out good farms of their own. 

In 1837 came the immigration 
from Gkmlbourfi and Huntley. Robert 
Eady, then known as Junior, (and 
father of Mr Geo. Eady, Jr..) and 
Win. Burwell were the pioneers of 
this party. They came in 1837; and in 
the following year the father, Robert 
Eady, sr., an old soldier came along 
with his other sons George, John, 
Thomas, Richard, William and James. 
Then in rapid succession came the 
Dunlops John, Gabriel, James, Wil 
liam and Robert, and their father, 
bed-ridden and blind at this time, 
John Richardson, John Vance, Eze- 
kiel Cole, (also an old soldier), David 
McQuitty, Francis Humphries, Archi 
bald Leitch, Frank Edwards. Alex. 
Smith, Wm. Smith, Samuel Smith. 
Jas. Lynch, Samuel Mason, Henry 
Williams, Wtn. Lewis, John McCal- 
lurn, William and Robert Hobbs, 
Michael O Neill, Thos. O Neill, Edward 
Farrell, theGorbys, Prices, Paynes and 
Jas. Johnston. Most of these families 
had come before 1840: and most of 
them were the pioneers of the families 
whose descendants are still well- 
known residents of that portion of 
Horton township. The Hobbs moved 
over into Pontiac. Williams went to 
Hastings county. The McConeghys, 
McAllisters, Olarkes, Browns and 
O Neills had all settled in that part of 
the township along the river, down 
near Bonnechere Point, early in the 
30s. One Hart, also in the early 30s, 
made a clearance in the township 
near the future village and town, but 
he went away and never returned, 

after selling his crop to Guy Seeley. 
While the country round about was 
thus filling up, that portion which 
afterwards became the village and 
then the town, had also been thicken 
ing up with people. It is probable 
that the population had grown from 
the 21 which it was in 1830 to 42 in 
1840. These were Antoine Beau- 
champ, wife, daughter and hired 
helper, who lived in a shanty near to 
the spot where Mrs E. Mackay s resi 
dence now is ; Peter Cameron, wife, 
three children and a man, who lived 
in the Brunette house, near what is 
now McVeigh s blacksmith shop ; X. 
Plaunt, wife, child and man, who lived 
in the house built by John Hall, near 
the O.P.R. station locality ; Joseph 
Mayhew, wife, seven children and 
two men, living in a house Mr May- 
hew had built on the hill south of the 
town, where "Granny" McDougall lived 
for so many years in the 18701900 
period ; Sergt. Airth, and wife, and 
his family of nine, who lived in a 
house on the creek side, near where 
the Canada Atlantic railroad now 
runs, and south of Mr David Airth s 
present stone house ; Louis Fremeau, 
who had been with Beauchamp for 
some time, and who had acquired the 
three acres of a mill site reservation 
alongside the Creek, including the 
house where Smith s sawmill and tan 
nery now is, and who lived with his 
wife and his brother-in-law Casimir in 
a shanty about on the spot where the 
British hotel was afterwards located ; 
Peter Portuguis, a carpenter, and his 
wife, who had settled on the corner 
near the Creek, where D. Brennan s 
store is to-day ; and John Berlanguet, 
also a handy man and carpenter, who 
with his wife had settled on what was 
afterwards known as the James Cars- 
well farm ; and lived in a house erect 
ed near where the Reynolds home 
stead has so long been located, at the 
corner of James and Opeongo streets. 

These then were the people of Ren 
frew in 1840. 

1840 1850. 

In our last we placed the population 
of Renfrew or at least that portion 
of the township of Horton which was 
afterwards to become Renfrew at 42 
souls. Soon after that it commenced 
to show signs of becoming a centre of 
population. It was sometime about 
the year 1840 that the first store was 
established by John Lorn McDougall, 
father of John Lorn McDougall, 
present anditor-general of Canada, 
and of Samuel McDougall, still a cit 
izen of the town. The pioneer Mc 
Dougall was a Highlander who had 
been in the service of the Hudson Bay 
Company in the Northwest. He had 
lived for a time at Golden Lake, deal 
ing with the Indians as a fur-trader; 
and was a linguist in several Indian 
tongues, as well as in the Gaelic ; and 
had a good deal of the natural orator 
in his composition. His first venture 
was in a little outbuilding of the 
Beauchamp property, but he was soon 
in a large log-building of his own, a 
few yards south of where Mr P. 
O Reilly s residence now stands. He 
did not long enjoy a monopoly in 
trade. A young man, Robert Mcln- 
tyre, who had been "keeping store" 
in Pakenham in partnership with the 
father of Mr Wm. Russell, until 
lately a prominent merchant in Arn- 
prior, was of an active disposition, 
and took part in political affairs. In 
the course of his visits on political 
business to Renfrew, he formed the 
conclusion that there was room for a 
profitable business here for him as 
well as for Mr McDougall, and in the 
autumn of 1844 he established himself 

in a building which stood in rear of 
Mr P. Dougall s carriage shop of to 
day. This building had been erected 
for a Roman Catholic church or 
chapel : but there is some doubt 
whether it had ever been used for that 
purpose : there was no regularly estab 
lished priest here then at all events. 
Mr Mclntyre quickly drew a thriving 
trade, and in the course of a few years, 
probably about 1848, started, to build a 
large stone store at the corner where 
Mr Adam Lindsay to-day does busi 
ness. Part of the original stone 
building remains standing within the 
walls of the block that now houses the 
Bank of Ottawa and the A. Lindsay 
store. Meantime, in 1845, William N. 
Faichr.ey and Archibald Thomson had 
come the first from Perth ; and the 
latter from Bathurst and had started 
business as nlacksmiths in the barn of 
the McLean property, about where 
Dean s store stands in 1900. About 
the same time William Dickson, who 
had come from Beckwith first to Mo- 
Nab, decided to make the growing 
village his headquarters. He had 
been in the habit of " whipping the 
cat" that is, travelling from farm 
house to farm-house, mending and 
making shoes. It seemed to him that 
Renfrew would become a central 
point, and so he bought a lot from 
Xavier Flaunt, and built his log place 
of business where The Mercury Office 
now stands. The Chinese laundry of 
to-day occupies part of the original 
building. The permanent location of 
the blacksmith and shoemaker having 
marked progress, the tailor was the 



next to appear on the scene. He was 
George Bonnington, who came from 
Galashields, Scotland, direct to Ren- * 
frew. He hoarded at first with Win. 
Dickson, and then, as he did a thriv 
ing trade, he decided to huild for him 
self. He bought a lot and erected the 
stone house, now alongside St. An 
drew s church, known as the Jamie- 
son home, and now occupied hy Mr 
George Thacker, whose wife is a 
daughter of Mr Alex. Jamieson, who 
succeeded Bonnington in the tailoring 

It will he noticed that the upper 
part of the town was growing the 
most rapidly. That was in large 
measure due to the wise and public- 
spirited land policy of Xavier Flaunt. 
He recognized the fact that it meant 
the building of a town, with the con 
sequent increase in the value of his 
own property, to get the newcomers 
located as quickly and closely togeth 
er as possible. So he induced settle 
ment by selling lots at a moderate 
price. He did more than that. If a 
church or school were projected, he 
donated the land for it readily and 
heartily. He gave free sites for the 
school, for the Old Kirk and Free 
Church and Methodist and Roman 
Catholic churches, and, as will be re 
membered by the residents of 
later years, Mi- Flaunt gave the first 
railway in Renfrew most of the land 
it needed for station and yards at a 
nominal figure. 


In our previous chapter we depicted 
the mercantile growth of the place 
which was now growing beyond a 
cross roads, and of the establishment 
of some of its pioneer industries be 
tween 1840 and 1848. And just here it 
may be noted that our historians 
memory of the exact order of the 
coming of the growing number of 
settlers is not so clear as it was of the 
earlier but fewer events of the devel 
opment of the neighborhood ; and it 
may be that some other of the readers 
of this newspaper story may be able to 
supply dates and facts fixing the com 

ing of each pioneer more exactly. Mr 
W. N. Faichney, it was noted last 
week, came in 1845 ; and he has recol 
lection of there being here when he 
came ; James O Connor (father of 
Messrs James and Wm. O Connor), 
who lived near the Creek side, south 
of where the Brennan store is to-day ; 
Sampson Coumbs, living behind what 
is now the British hotel ; John Munro, 
in a small hotel below Reilly s hotel ; 
Joseph Charbonneau, a carpenter, 
who had his home about where Wm. 
O Connor s store is to-day ; Xavier 
Flaunt, who had moved from the 
Hall house to another erected on the 
site of the Albion hotel ; Joseph 
Saddler, a miller, who ran the McRae 
gristing mill, which was by this time 
located on that part of the Creek a 
mile or so south of the town which 
was known for some years as McRae s 
Creek, then as Farquharson s, and 
now is Smith s Creek. John Burns 
came in 1847. Carpenter and cabinet 
maker was he by trade, genial, jolly, 
ardent lover of Bobbie Burns, his na 
tional poet; and a man who took an 
active part in many of the public af 
fairs of Renfrew in its village days. 
He and W. N. Faichney made the first 
waggon, sleigh and buggy ever man 
ufactured in Renfrew. They sold 
their first, buggy to Elias Moore, of 
Admaston. and took an old horse in 
part payment. DC. Carswell, father 
of Messrs Robert and Allan Carswell, 
also came about this time. A good 
doctor he was, too, as the story goes ; 
a faculty which ran in the family, for 
his brother was private physician to 
the ruler of the Belgians. In 1848 
came John Smith, a man of strong 
parts, destined to play an active part 
for many years in the municipal and 
industrial life of Renfrew. He came 
from Lanark, and bought the saw 
mill which Sampson Coumbs had 
erected and which stands on the same 
site to-day, though the same sticks of 
timber may not all be in it. In the 
same year Mr Smith started to build 
his tannery, which also still stands, 
and which commenced operations in 



1849. In addition to those mentioned 
above, Mr Smith remembers that 
there were here hefore him ; his rela 
tive the late Donald Cameron (father of 
Messrs W. A. and Dr . J. D. Cameron), 
who kept a store in the building which 
afterwards became the British hotel, 
and having for his clerk, Duncan Fer 
guson, who had been the pioneer 
teacher of the neighborhood, and who 
had come to the section some years 
previously William Watt, the great 
grandfather of the William of to-day, 
had a foundry down near where the 
Methodist church is in 1901. Duncan 
McKerracher, a carpenter, had his 
home on the lot upon which to-day 
stands Millar s confectionery store. 
Just south of this was Wm. Dickson s 
shoe shop, hitherto referred to. John 
Poff, who was a teamster drawing 
material for the McTntyre store, lived 
on what is now the Kearney lot. He 
still lives in one of the rear townships 
of this or Hastings county, and oc 
casionally visits the scene of his early 
labors. John Burns was just above 
him, in what is now the Eady pro 
perty. The Mclntyre store was 
slightly further up street, with Faich- 
ney & Thompson just above them, 
again. Over on the west side of the 
street, in the little roughcast house 
which still stands below Pedlow s 
store, lived John Churchill, cooper. 
Afterwards, John Burns became pos 
sessor of this property. Across the 
Creek, that is on the south side 
of it, the Mayhews were domiciled 
Charles, Joseph and Edward tie- 
ween Thomson s hill and the village. 
Baptiste Beaudry lived on the Robert 
Carswell farm of to-day, and which 
then reached over to the concession 
line where Mr D. Barr s residence now 
is. Jeremiah Lynch, who still lives, a 
resident of Admaston, and John 
O Dea, father of the members of the 
family of that name living in Ren 
frew and Admaston to-day, both as 
sisted in the building of the Mclntyre 
stone store, and both lived in houses 
somewhere near the present residence 
of Mr A. Barnet. Another resident 

of the south end was an old British 
soldier named Blair, a rollicking gen 
ius, who resided in a house located 
somewhere in the plot which is now 
Mr A. A. Wright s garden. The 
Methodist minister either Brownell 
or West a little man who had a 
strong fancy for a good dog and a fast 
horse, and who was counted a good 
neighbor, also lived somewhere near 
the Creek-side, across from Mr O Con 
nor s. Peter Mayhew and Nulbeir 
Jourdin lived at the western end of 
the town, in the neighborhood of 
what is now the K, & P. and the 
Canada Atlantic "diamond." Flem- 
eau (not Fretneau as we had it pre 
viously, he who had been the first 
owner of the three acres of mill site 
and water-power at the Creek, selling 
to Sampson Coumbs, and he to John 
Smith), and Casimir had moved down 
town to the river-side . 

Another who was afterwards to he 
a prominent resident came about 
this time John McAndrew, who 
came to Canada from Scotland in 
1842, and five years afterwards located 
in Renfrew as clerk for John Lorn 
McDougall, then became clerk for 
Robert Mclntyre, and finally estab 
lishing a business for himself. Jas. 
Dougherty, who lived about where 
the Roberts planing mill is to-day, 
was also here then, an employee on 
Mr McDougall s farm. 

In fixing upon the pioneers of the 
1840-1850 period we find that we fail 
ed to locate one of the pioneer families 
in an even earlier period. James Mc 
Laren was one of the Scotchmen who 
came to Renfrew county in 1825 from 
Perthshire, and settled in McNah 
township under the guidance of the 
noted Chief McNah. But, it will be 
remembered, there was considerable 
rebellion against the authority the old 
Chief sought to inflict upon the emi 
grants who had settled the township 
at his instigation ; and among the inde 
pendent-minded men who would not 
bend the neck before the autocratic 
old Chieftain was James McLaren. 



Just how long his disaffection was in 
growing, at this date there is none to 
tell, but it is known that on at least 
one occasion he was sent at the head 
of a delegation of the men of McNah 
who were appealing against the 
Chiefs acts to the Court sitting at 
Perth. The farm in McNah upon 
which Mr McLaren settled was that 
fine place now occupied by Mr Donald 
McLaren near Sand Point. But with 
the growing friction with the Chief, 
Mr McLaren cast his eyes about for a 
less irritating place of abode ; and he 
purchased from one Ewan McCarthy, 
of Pakenham, 100 acres of the farm on 
the second line of Horton, about a 
mile south of Renfrew s southern 
limits. He did not move to his new 
property for some years ; but perform 
ed the regulation "settlement duties" 
until 1837, when he moved up to this 
Horton farm, which has ever since 
been the home of the McLaren 
family, descending on his death in 1860 
to the eldest son Robert, and, on his 
retirement to Renfrew town some 
years ago, to his oldest son, John 
B. Of the children of James Mc 
Laren : Mary, who died in Renfrew a 
year or two ago, was the eldest and 
the only one born in Scotland. All the 
others were Canadians Robert, the 
well-known citizen, for so many years 
Secretary of the South Renfrew Agri 
cultural Society and holding other re 
sponsible positions; Elizabeth (the 
late Mrs Alex. Stewart, of Horton) ; 
Donald, now on the original farm in 
McNab township ; Margaret (the late 
Mrs John R. Stewart, of Renfrew); 
John, who died in 1844, when about ten 
years of age ; Duncan, the well-known 
stock-farmer of Bromley township ; 
Malcolm, of Maynooth, in Hastings 
county ; and Christina, who died in 
infancy. To the 100 acres originally 
purchased by James McLaren, Robert 
afterwards added 100 more to the 

Another ol the old families of the 
district may fairly be credited to 
this 1840 1850 period ; though during 
this decade they were not permanent 

ly residents of the part which was 
afterwards to become the town. In 
1834, a young man emigrated from 
Temple House, County Sligo, Ireland, 
to "By-town," now Ottawa. This 
was Matthew Devine, the eldest of 
the family. In a few years he had 
followed the spread of population 
along the Ottawa river, and kept a 
" stopping place " or hotel at Hub- 
bell s Falls, now known as Galetta. 
In 1842 he came on further westward, 
and settled in Renfrew. It does not 
seem certain at this day where he 
first dwelt, whether up the river a 
mile or two above where the town 
now is, on what is now Rouselle s 
farm, or whether it was in a house 
just below or north of that in which 
Laurence O Rielly kept hotel. The 
weight of evidence seems to be that it 
was in the house by the riverside that 
he first dwelt, and afterwards, when 
he came back to Renfrew, in the 
building near the foot of Main street. 
In the spring of 1843, Mr Devine was 
induced by Gerard Nagle, then Super 
intendent of Government Works, to 
go with him to Des Joachims, where 
the dams and slides were to he built. 
In December of that year Mrs Devine 
died, and Mr Devine as soon as pos 
sible thereafter returned to Renfrew 
and lived here continuously until 
1850, when he moved to the Madawas- 
ka country, in the neighborhood of 
Springtown. Matthew was accom 
panied to this district by his sister 
Mary, who settled at the Chats. 
Felix also came out in the early 40 
period, staying for a time with his 
sister and brother, then settling at 
Springtown, and becoming a perman 
ent resident of Renfrew again in 1864. 
Their brother Andrew, with his wife 
and their eldest child John, came <>ut 
in the 40s, stayed a short time at the 
Chats, then a year or two at Sand 
Point, and then came on and settled 
on the Pinnacle farm, which was their 
home for so many years before they re 
tired and came into Renfrew to 
live. In 1847, the younger brothers, 
Patrick and John, also came out to 


this country, accompanied by their 
mother and sister. The mother died 
and was buried at sea, the sister died 
during quarantine at Quebec. Patrick 
attended school in the village for a 
year or so, and afterwards joined his 
brother Felix in business in Renfrew, 
as did also John, after farming many 
years in Horton. 

This story has so far taken on an al 
most statistical dryness in recording 
the coming of the settlers ; and some 
of our readers may have lamented the 
absence of a more anecdoctal descrip 
tion of the habits and methods of the 
people of the young community. It 
is the intention of the writer having 
brought the story up to the half-cen 
tury mark, to look backwards again, 
and in separate chapters tell the story 
of the development of the roads, and 
schools, and churches, and industries 
of the district, as well as of its munici 
pal affairs. But before commencing 
these chapters, it is desired to as far 
as possible complete the list of 
those who were in the village and im 
mediately surrounding country before 
the 1850 period. Already it has been 
discovered that two or three families 
not so far mentioned should have 
been included in the list; and there 
may be others. We will be pleased if 
any of our readers whose families 
were hereabouts before 1850, or who 
know of any others who were here be 
fore that time and have not been men 
tioned, will give us the information 
at once. 

Meantime we here introduce from 
a book written about the year 1850 by 
W. H. Smith, describing the 
counties of Lanark and Renfrew as 
they then were, from the standpoints 
ot population and farm development, 
the following extracts : which to some 
extent round out the statistical nature 
of the story up to this point : 

Five miles west from White Lake 
is the village of Burnstown, romantic 
ally situated on the Madawaska, near 
the western corner of the township of 

McNab. It is a new settlement, form 
ed at the point where the main tra 
velled road through this section of 
country is crossed by another leading 
from Sand Point on the Ottawa to 
Mount St. Patrick and the country in 
the rear. Burnstown overhangs a 
very deep precipitous valley ot the 
Madawaska, which river is crossed by 
a bridge, and on the other side is a 
very difficult pass. The Madawaska 
here presents a view truly American 
in wildness. The waters bear a dark 
and turgid aspect, and are character 
istically set off by lofty precipitous 
banks, covered by dark brown woods 
which flank them on both sides. 
Down the Madawaska immense quan 
tities of pine timber are now brought. 
In the early progress of operations on 
the Ottawa, the Madawaska being 
considered unusually dangerous, even 
for lumber navigation, lumbermen 
were deterred from venturing upon it, 
hence it is that, notwithstanding its 
comparative vicinity to market, un 
til about fifteen years ago, no timber 
was taken out of its valley. At 
length a few enterprising individuals 
made ventures. More recently gov 
ernment took the matter in hand, and 
the river is now passable. 

Burnstown contains a grist mill, 
and the registrar for the county of 
Renfrew keeps his office here. 

The township of McNab in 1842 
contained but 728 inhabitants, and 
in 1845, 3,195 acres were under culti 
vation. In 1850 the population had 
increased to 1,653; 5,091 acres were 
under cultivation, there were one 
grist and two saw mills in the town 
ship, and 7,400 bushels of wheat, 
6,500 bushels of oats, 18,900 bushels 
of potatoes, 12,000 pounds of maple 
sugar, and 2,500 pounds of butter 
were produced from the crop of 1849. 

To the southwest of McNab is the 
township of Bagot. It is but little 
settled, and in 1850 contained only 
670 inhabitants, and there were, one 
grist mill and two saw mills in the 
township. The produce raised was 


not worth quoting. Blythetield, to 
the southwest of Bagot, is still less 
settled, and in 1850 only contained 
121 inhabitants. 

About eight miles from Burnstown, 
near the southwestern boundary of the 
township of Horton, is the village of 
Renfrew. It is twenty-five rqiles from 
Pakenham, and it is situated on the 
Bonnechere. It contains a grist mill, 
saw mill, foundry, tannery, carding 
mill and post office. There are also 
two churches, Presbyterian and Ro 
man Catholic, a grammar school, and 
the crown lands agent for the county 
of Renfrew keeps his office here. Al 
though a small place, a considerable 
amount of business is transacted in 
the village, and large quantities of 
potash are exported. There is here a 
magnificent fall of water, called by 
lumbermen the second chute of the 
Bonnechere. The property belongs to 
parties in England, and the absence 
of the proprietors is said to check 
its progress. 

Horton is gradually settling up. In 
1842 it contained 544 inhabitants, and 
in 1845, 2,181 acres were under culti 
vation. In 1850 the population had 
increased to 1,048, 3,768 acres were 
under cultivation, and 7,300 bushels 
of wheat, 6,000 bushels of oats, 10.- 
800 bushels of potatoes, and 2,300 
bushels of turnips were produced 
from the crop of 1849. 

To the southwest of Horton is the 
township of Adrnaston ; it is a large 
township and but little settled. In 
1850 it only contained 561 inhabi 
tants ; it is watered by the Bonne 

chere, and by tributaries of the Mada- 

To the northwest of Horton is the 
township of Ross, which is also thin 
ly settled. In 1850 it only contained 
575 inhabitants. To the southwest of 
Ross is the township of Bromley. It 
is but little settled, only containing 
640 inhabitants in 1850. There are 
two saw mills in the township, and a 
settlement has lately been started on 
the Bonnechere, which is called Pal- 
merston ; it has a post office, etc. 

Bonnechere Point and Sand Point 
on the Ottawa, although not arrived 
at the dignity of villages, are never 
theless shipping places of some im 

About twenty miles northwest from 
Renfrew village is a settlement called 
Cobden, a name intended to illus 
trate its proprietor s admiration for 
free trade. It is situated at the 
head of Muskrat Lake, in the south 
of the township of Westrneath, and 
has been commenced about two 
years. A road has been formed from 
the lake to the Ottawa below Calu 
met Island, and a line of stage wag 
gons placed on the route. On the 
first opening of the line of communi 
cation row boats were placed on the 
Muskrat to convey passengers and 
goods to Pembroke, but during the 
present season a small steamer has 
been substituted. This is intended to 
be replaced by one of a superior class 
next year. All goods and passengers 
for the Ottawa above Portage du 
Fort are now carried along this line, 
A post office has been established at 
the village. 


In the preceding chapters of the 
Story has been told the tale of the 
gradual settlement of the community, 
from the coming of the first white 
man in the early 20s, to the time 
when it had almost reached the status 
of a village. While the establishment 
of schools and churches mark the 
growth of the intelligence of a com 
munity, the roads and flouring mills 
come even earlier in its development. 
At first, as has been heretofore noted, 
the settlers traded for the most part 
at Perth. For four or five years, the 
Airths and the families which im 
mediately followed them made their 
way to Perth on foot. Then came 
the sign of growing wealth on the 
part of the individual, and of easier 
transportation methods for the com 
munity the ox team ; and then, 
shortly afterwards, horses were im 
ported. Mr David Airth fixes the 
time of the coming of the first horse 
to Renfrew as " the year of the Papi- 
neau rebellion." His father, having 
made a good sale of potash at Mont 
real, decided that he would invest in 
a horse, and brought one back with 
him. Just about the same time, the 
Knight and Martin families also be 
came the proud possessors of equines. 

Naturally, travelling to Perth on 
foot, the settlers first trod on high 
ways which were more pathways 
than roadways. The first " blazed 
pathway" travelled by Renfrewites 
was that to Goshen. It started at the 
upper end of Thos. McLean s property, 
or just at the Dominion House corner, 
and travelled along about the present 
line of the Canada Atlantic railway to 

the south-west of the Fair grounds 
till it reached where Mr D. Airth s 
stone house now stands. Then it 
struck off towards the Martin farm, 
a little south of where the Martin 
house is to-day, and angled on through 
the McGregor and McArthur proper 
ties. From there the pathway took 
on more of a roadway form, and went 
by a fairly straight course down by 
the McNab " big meadow " to the 
water side about two miles from 
Sand Point. 

Another roadway from the upper 
part of the town was that headed for 
Burnstown, where there was a small 
store. This road started about where 
Dean s store now is, branched down 
to the vicinity where Smith s grist 
mill stands to-day, then up on to the 
high ground in rear of Mr A. A. 
Wright s residence as far as the pro 
perty known for so manv years as 
" Granny McDougall s." From that 
house it angled across by the Wallace 
property on Thomson s hill to Mr 
John Park s, then crossed to the left 
around the McLaren swamp, took an 
other turn to the right so as to cross 
the Creek at Farquharson s Rapids ; 
and then crossed and re-crossed the 
present course of the Burnstown 
road in a course of remarkable sinuo 
sity. It can be readily understood 
that, in that day of few settlers, travel 
followed the easiest, and to the ex 
tent that it was the, driest, the high 
est course. It would be about 1832 or 
1833 that the first efforts were made 
to straighten the Burnstown roadvyay, 
and it gradually assumed the straight- 
er course of to-day. 



The first road leading bo the west, 
or into what afterwards became the 
township of Adniaston left the vil 
lage land along by the now old cheese 
factory, a little east of the present 
bridge leading up Carswell s hill ; and 
instead of mounting the rocks between 
the properties of Messrs James and 
Robert Carswell as it does to-day, it 
avoided the rocks by swinging around 
them to the left, or about where Mr 
Robert Carswell s house is now. 
From there the road branched off as 
nearly straight as the lie of the land 
would allow in the direction of the fine 
grove of pines on the Dunn farm, and 
a few of which still raise high their 
heads. From that point, for some 
years, there was no regular roadway; 
simply a winding track leading from 
neighbor s place to neighbor s. 

The people who lived on the north 
side of the Bonnechere had no easy 
way of getting into the village. For 
many years they had to cross the 
river at the "Flat Rapids" down by 
the Gibbons property. Some of the 
old-timers still remember how much 
the early settlers were indebted to 
the kindness of Mr J. B. Gibbons and 
others of the family. They had a 
boat at the rapids, and when any of 
the north side people wished to get 
over into civilization, they would 
stand on the north bank and shout, 
until they caught the attention of 
some one on the Gibbons place. Then 
the boat would be taken over and the 
traveller brought to the south side. 

Of course this was all before the 
day of municipal organization, and 
there was no system of road-making. 
The work was done by volunteer 
labor entirely: the "willing horse" 
as always doing the most. 

How large a share the opening of 
the roadways occupied in the munici 
pal life of these early days a perusal of 
the minutes of the municipal councils 
serve to show. Unfortunately, we 
have not yet been able to discover 
the first minute book of the town 
ship of Horton, and so are not able to 

fix many an interesting action and 
date in road-building enterprises. 

Mr John Smith relates to us one 
circumstance how the first bridge 
was built across the Bonnechere river 
at the village, at just about the same 
spot where the iron bridge stands to 
day. In those early days, as for near 
ly thirty years afterwards, the 
shantymen, as they went to the woods 
in the autumn or to the "drives "in 
the spring, would load themselves 
heavily with spirituous liquors, and 
frequently managed to stir up a fight 
with the villagers at the different set 
tled points along their route. On 
this particular occasion, one of the 
gangs going into the woods for the 
Conroy firm made trouble in Horton. 
At the Hobbs farm, they raised a 
melee and cracked some bones. The 
neighbors were aroused ; and Mr 
Smith, then about a couple of years a 
resident of the village, has a distinct 
recollection of seeing about a dozen of 
the men of Horton, armed with guns 
and headed by Mr Frank Edwards, 
hurrying through the village to the 
west. They were after the gang of 
shantymen who had committed the 
assault. These were overhauled 
somewhere in the vicinity of Moore s 
mills in Admaston. It is remember 
ed that, some of the shantymen start 
ing to run away as their pursuers ap 
proached, the cooler heads in the at 
tacking party had difficulty in re 
straining some of their heated com 
panions from firing on the fleeing 
woodsmen. The latter were all cap 
tured, however, and brought before 
John Lorn McDougall, J.P. He fined 
them 10 apiece, and applied the 
fines to the building of the first 
Bonnechere bridge at Renfrew. The 
bridge was mounted on triangular 
wooden piers, with the sharp edge up 
stream, to break the ice and guide the 
logs coming down-stream. Some of 
the people remonstrated with the J.P. 
for the severity of the fine ; but with 
many a Gaelic exclamation he im 
pressed that it would do the trans 
gressors more good to touch their 



pockets heavily th;in it would to send 
them to Perth jail. 

Ask any of the old timers, when 
Samuel Francis or Wm. Roberts or 
Wm. Logan came to Renfrew, and 
the answer at first will almost certain 
ly In- a question When was the Divi 
sion of Sons of Temperance organized? 
Thus inseparably are the names of 
these pioneers associated with the 
forming of that organization, which 
has had such effect in leavening pub 
lic opinion in the years that have 
followed. The Sons were not organ 
ized till 1852, but Samuel Francis 
at least was a resident some consider 
able time before that. He came in 
1850, if not even in the latter part of 

1849. He was a native of Armagh, 
Ireland, and in 1827, when Samuel 
was twelve years old, his father- 
removed to Canada, to Kilmar- 
nock on the Rideau. At Merrickville, 
Samuel learned the trade of axe maker, 
and came on to Renfrew in 1849 or 

1850. Most of those spoken to nowa 
days, think of Mr Francis as first re 
siding just south of Smith s Creek, 
hut it is almost certain that before 
moving to that point, he lived in a 
house somewhere near where Mr P. 
Dougah s carriage shop now is, and 
there his eldest son (now the Very 
Rev. Arthur V. Francis, of Muskogee, 
Ind. Ter.,) \\ as born in May, 1851. 
Shortly afterwards Mr Francis moved 
to the rough-cast house now 
owned by Mr Wm. Hastings, and 
which was a few years ago moved 
from the right hand to the left hand 
side of the road leading south of 
Smith s Creek bridge. Somewhat 
closer to the edge of the creek, Mr 
Francis built a small axe factory, in 
which Mr Wrn. Roberts was his assis 
tant. About five years later, he 
bought property down by the river, 
built the house now known as "Val 
ley Cottage," and the stone axe fac 
tory which stood for so many years at 
the end of the flume at the north side 
of the Bonnechere river. As noted 
above, Mr Francis was a moving 
spirit, in the organization of The Sons, 

and was also a prime mover in the 
institution of Renfrew s first brass 
band, and was one of its first players. 
Another of the pioneers of the 40 
period was Henry Groves. He was a 
Dublin man, and a member of the 
Dublin city patrol. He emigrated to 
Canada, and became one of the early 
settlers in Admastou, where he farm 
ed for a time. Then he removed to 
Renfrew, and kept an hotel, which 
stood just south of where the Faich- 
ney-Thompson blacksmith shop then 
stood, where Dean s store now is. 
Many of this generation will remem 
ber his rough-cast building, with its 
Swiss cottage like verandah. This 
was burned down sometime in the 
seventies. Mr Groves had other 
property in the town, which for a 
long time bore his name, notably that 
owned now by Mr Ja r . Carswell, 
opposite Mr S. Moffat s residence. 
His only daughter became the wife of 
the la e Patrick Kelly, for many 
years the proprietor of The British 
Hotel, and now is the wife of Mr G. 
A. Becker, proprietor of the same 

Another family which can fairly be 
classed among the pioneers of Ren 
frew, though not actually settlers in 
the town till a later period, was that 
of Donald Stewart. He was a relative 
by marriage of the James Stewart 
who had settled in Horton in 1830, 
and Donald and his wife and five sons 
John, Duncan, James, Donald and 
Peter and one daughter now Mrs 
David Farquharson, spent a few 
days with their Cousins Stewart on 
the Second Line, when they first 
arrived in Renfrew. The new settler 
had an excellent offer made to him to 
remain in the growing village a tine 
option on the property of Mr Saddler, 
but Donald did not think that a 
town was a good place for the bring 
ing up of growing boys : and resolute 
ly carried out his intention of settling 
on a farm. He went up into Admas- 
ton, and for ten years remained on 
the property which is now occupied 
by Richard Munhall. Then he moved 



nearer the : purchasing from 
Wm. Montgomery the farm in Horton 
now occupied by his son Duncan, for 
many years the Reeve of the town 
ship. The sons were wont to tell 
their father that he had made a mis 
take in not accepting the offer to re 
main in the village when he came to 
the country first. At all events, 
several of them moved on into town 
and business life. James and Peter 
have been prominent figures in the 
mercantile, municipal and educational 
circles of the town for many years. 

Another pioneer of the 40-50 period 
hitherto not spoken of was a French 
man, named in English, Pelaw. He 
lived down by the river bank, about 
where the mills are. Mr David Barr 
remembers him well, through a 
personal incident. Down on 
the river bank, below the Pelaw 
residence, grew wild plums. Mr 
Barr and a comrade then in 
some degree embryo Single-Taxers, 
thought the plums were common 
property. Mr Pelaw had different 
ideas. He thought propinquity made 
ownership. The boys went after the 
plums, and Pelaw then went after the 
boys. They had but one way to get 
home without crossing his path. 
They stripped their clothes, tied them 
to their backs, and swam the river at 

Butternut Point. Hence Mr Barr 
has reason to remember Pelaw. He 
was, as far as known, a slide, or flume- 
master for Hon. Jas. Skead. 

The notice of the death of James 
Stirling in Illinois, in another column 
of this issue, brings to view another 
who if not a resident of the village in 
the late 40 period, was at least some 
what connected with it. He had 
come from Lanark: county, and car 
ried the mails through this section of 
country. He started at Bonnechere 
Point, where the post office was kept 
by the O Neil family, and rode on 
horseback to the post office which did 
duty for Renfrew, though it was sit 
uated some miles from what is now 
the town. This was at Greenlaw, the 
farm now occupied by Mr Archibald 
Smith, but then owned by Registrar 
James Morris, father of Mrs George 
Ross, of town, and of the late Sheriff 
Morris. Mr Morris kept the post of 
fice, and the pigeon-holes and safe 
built into the walls have never been 
removed, but still are an interesting 
decoration of Mr Smith s home. 
From Greenlaw, Mr Stirling rode on 
with the mail to the White Lake post 
office then presided over by Mr Paris. 
From this point another carrier did 
duty in carrying the mail to and from 


Before there were settlers in Ren 
frew there were Indians encamped at 
Golden Lake. It is quite possible 
therefore that with the missionary 
zeal which characterized the priests of 
the Roman Catholic Church in seek 
ing to Christianize the aborigines, some 
Father of that denomination first set 
foot in the Bonnechere district of 
Renfrew county. But so far as the 
community now known as Renfrew is 
concerned, the credit of sending the 
first missionary belongs to the Metho 
dist Episcopals. At this late day it is 
not known just what brought Rev. 
Mr Maitland to the early settlement, 
but it is thought that Mrs Mayhew, 
mother of Mr Elkanah Mayhew, our 
present citizen, was possibly responsi 
ble for it. She was a devoted member 
of that denomination : and she had a 
son whom she desired to have bap 
tized. This, whether it was the 
motive for his coming or not, was one 
of the first duties of Mr Maitland. He 
preached in the log barn on the Mc 
Lean property, then tenanted by the 
Airth family. He came a few times, 
and was followed by Reverends Man- 
ley, Bearney, Stephen Brownell, West, 
Manson, Howe, Williams, Pomeroy, 
Sparrow and Maston. In just what 
years these pioneer preachers journey 
ed to and fro in the district is not now 
definitely remembered. Probably 
Sparrow and Maston at least came 
after the lh 50 period, where we are 
drawing a division in our historical re 
cord. It is in memory, though, that 
the settlers profanely dubbed Mr 
Brownell, "Boanerges." He mended 
boots and harness, and set up finger 

boards to guide the wanderers 
through the forest, as well as 
preached to guide the settlers 
to a higher spiritual state. 
Mr West had a peculiarity. He had 
the sight of one eye only, his wife was 
similarly afflicted, and so was his dog. 
As far as can now be gathered, Mr 
West was the first to make his re 
sidence here. He dwelt in a little 
house just on the south side of Smith s 
Creek. His predecessors were not re 
gularly stationed, but came and went, 
at first on foot and then on horse 
back. Sometimes they preached in 
the McLean barn, at other times, when 
the weather was favorable, in the 
open air or in the woods. Then, when 
the first school-house was built, out 
on what is now Mr Win. Barr s farm, 
that was utilized for the services. 
Later still, the ambition of a church 
building of their own was indulged in, 
and some time in the early 40s the 
dream became a reality. The site was 
donated by Mr Xavier Plaunt, and a 
log building, perhaps 24x30 feet in 
dimensions, was erected. There were 
no architectural frills about it. No 
suspicion of a spire, not even a gothic 
touch to the windows. Seats were of 
the most primitive description. Ora 
torical excellence was not a striking 
feature of the ministrations of most of 
these early preachers so far as is now 
recollected. Earnest and vigorous 
they were, but mostly unlettered. 

As has been noted, these pioneer 
missionaries were of the Episcopal 
branch of the Methodist family. The 
Wesleyans sent their first represen 
tative in 1851 ; and consequently they 



do not, find recognition in the First 
Division of the History. 

Tt may lie taken for granted that a 
community in which the Scotch were 
from the start a considerable factor, 
was not long in seeking for the means 
of grace through a Presbyterian chan 
nel. In those days, it would probably 
go harder with a good sturdy old 
Scotchman to have his children christ 
ened by a Methodist than it would to 
day. The divisions then seemed 
greater. But with the younger men, 
even then, there was a degree of liber 
ality. Mr Henry Airth, then Junior 
but now Senior, did not hesitate to 
have his two eldest children baptized 
by the Methodist, Rev. Mr. Manson. 

Still, Presbyterian clergymen had 
appeared in Renfrew in the early 30 s. 
The first was Rev. Mr Kearns, who 
visited the families in their homes. 
He ma,de a few visits during a year or 
so. Then, for a time, Rev. Mr Fair- 
bairn, the Ramsay minister, came oc 
casionally to visit the people. And in 
connection with his coming, there oc 
curred one of the early and memor 
able tragedies of the district. It was 
probably about the year 1835 that the 
people were going to meet with Mr 
Fairbairn at John Fisher s on the 
south side of the Madawaskn, near 
Burnstown. Those on the north side 
.went across in canoes. A number 
had safely crossed the swiftly-swirling 
waters at that point, on this as on 
former occasions ; but the canoe con- 
taining John McNab (known as Auch- 
essan McNab), John Stewart (father 
of the late " Churchfield John,") and 
the blacksmith Me Arthur with his 
two children, capsized. McArtbur 
managed to swim ashore with one 
child, but McNab, Stewart and the 
other child were all swept down by 
the current and drowned. For many 
days the neighbors "dragged" the 
waters till the bodies were found. 

About 1840, the "Old Kirk" Presby 
terians of the neighborhood or the 
members of the "Presbytferian Church 
in Canada in connection with the 
Church of Scotland" felt strong 

enough to call a minister, in connec 
tion with other more forward sections. 
Pakenham, Torbolton, Horton and 
McNab united in a call to Rev. Alex. 
Mann, and he accepted the charge of 
the widely scattered congregation. 
The first time he came to preach in 
this part of his field his church was 
the home of Angus McNab, a mile or 
so north of Burnstown. For about 
a year he preached in the private 
houses of the congregation, and in 
1841 the decision was reached to 
build the church at " Canaan " on the 
Second Line, about midway between 
the points which afterwards became 
Burnstown and Renfrew. JVtost of 
the work of construction was done 
voluntarily by the young men of the 
congregation, who turned out with 
their axes and sided the logs and 
afterwards erected them. This 
church building, like the M. E. edifice 
at Renfrew, was of the plainest char 
acter, and the pews were back-less 
benches, made out of a plank set on 
blocks sawn from the tree with a 
cross-cut saw. In this, the Presby 
terians of Horton and McNab wor 
shipped together till 1847. By that 
time, Renfrew was developing into a 
village, and the proposition was 
made to erect a church in the 
centre of population. Of that matter 
there are some interesting records, 
which will do for another chapter. 

In the previous chapter, it was 
recorded that the Presbyterians living 
near what is now Renfrew decided on 
building a church for themselves, 
under the ministration of Rev. Dr. 
,Mann, in 1847. The subscription list 
circulated for this purpose has been 
preserved by Mr Robert McLaren, and 
contains the information that we had 
hitherto not come across, either in 
document or by hearsay, that before 
Renfrew became Renfrew it was 
known as Renfrewville. The sub 
scription list ran as follows we 
omit the amounts subscribed which 
were in pounds, shillings and pence, 
and which totalled up some 132 : 


We, the undersigned, do hereby agree 
and bind ourselves to pay the sums 
attached to our respective names, for the 
purpose of erecting a church in connec 
tion with the Church of Scotland, at 
Renfrewville, in Horton, which sums we 
promise to pay to Robert Maclntyre, 
merchant, Renfrewville, or to John 
McRae, grain mills, collectors, on or 
before the first day of March, 1847 : 
Henry Airth, sr. Robert Maclntyre 
Duncan Ferguson William Dickson 
Thorn son &Faichnie John McRae 

D. Duncan Ferguson Donald Stewart 
Gregor Mclntyre James Stewart 
James McLaren David Barr 
David McQuitty David Airth 
John Mclntyre John Robertson 
John Serson Robert Saddler 
Donald Watt Duncan Mclntyre 
George Bryson A friend 

John McXab Sampson Coumbs 

John Forrest Alexander Fraser 

Joseph McQuitty Joseph Flint 
Elliott Johnston Antoine Bosheau 
John Mclnnes James Morris 

William Jamieson John Thomson 
Robinson Lyon George Lyon 

William Morris D. F. McLaren 

A friend D. McLachlin 

E. McGillvery Scott Tyre 

Geo. H. Wheeler William Lymant 
William Gemmill John Millar 
D. & A. B. Stewart A friend 
Arch. McFarlane Win. Thompson 
T.E. Wood berry & Co C. Bryson 
Cacoun & Cross Bryson & Ferriers 

A friend John Boyd 

Robert Smith Thomas Byers 

James McConeghy Duncan Campbell 
Thomson & Cameron Elias Moore 
Robert King Peter McGregor 

John Sutherland David Leckie 
Smith Coleman William Forbes 

Arch. Henderson Henry Airth, Jr. 
William Forrest Alex. McNee 
Ross & Brown D. Blane. 

The list, as will he seen by its terms, 
was largely in the hands of the late 
Robert Maclntyre, merchant, and so 
it includes subscriptions not only 
from residents of the neighborhood 
itself; but also from wholesale firms 
from whom Mr Maclntyre purchased 
goods, and from farmers and others 
in outlying districts who purchased 
from him. Another revelation of the 
subscription list is that we have 

hitherto omitted from our list of 
pioneers of the 1840-1850 period, the 
late John McRae. This is partly ac 
counted for from the fact that at first 
his mills were on Farquharson s Creek, 
and not in the village itself till some 
time about the 1850 period, or even 
later. A chapter on the early Mills 
of Renfrew will deal with this more 

Besides the contributions from the 
congregation and their friends in this 
country, the parent church, the 
Church of Scotland granted 50 to 
the construction of the edifice. 

When the present stone church of 
St. Andrew s was built in 1883, the 
first church, built in 1847, was torn 
down to make way for the new. 
When it was being torn down, The 
Mercury contained the following de 
scription ; the matters of history be 
ing then fresher in memory : and we 
incorporate in this more permanent 
record the story there told : 


Previous to the movement for building a 
church in the village, the Presbyterians of 
this place and large surrounding district 
were dependent upon occasional services 
under Rev. Mr (now Rev. Dr.) Mann, of 
Pakeiiham ; the place of worship being in 
the township of McXab. 

The church site in this village was se 
cured from Mr X. Plaunt, in May, 1846. 
The following were the Trustees named in 
the Deed: Henry Airth, sr., John McNab, 
Robt. Mclntyre, Henry Airth, jr., Mat 
thew Anderson, Robt. R. Smith, Alexander 
Fraser, James McLaren, John McRae, 
John Campbell, Archibald Henderson, 
Wm. Jamieson, and James Morris. The 
site comprises three-quarters of an acre. 
The price paid was nominally five shill 
ings, but in reality the land was a dona 
tion from Mr Plaunt. It may not be in 
appropriate to mention here that this was 
not by any means the only instance of the 
liberality displayed by Mr Plaunt towards 
promoting the religious and educational 
interests of the village : as he also dona 
ted the sites for the Catholic Church, for 
the Free Church, and for the first school- 
house in the village of Renfrew . 

Preparations for building the church 
were begun from the time of purchasing 
the site ; but though sufficiently advanced 


to be occupied for service by 1851, it \v;is 
not finished ;ind regularly seated till 1S.">!. 
The building was a very substantial one, 
anil did credit to the thorough workman 
ship of the old-time mechanics. The 
mason work was done by Donald Mc- 
Quarry, a resident of the old settlement 
of Ramsay; the plastering, by John 
Wallace ; the window sashes, by Geo. 
Brown, father of Mr Alex. Brown, of 
Admastoii ; the roofing, by Donald Stew 
art, eldest brother of Mr J. R. Stewart ; 
and the seating by John Burns. The 
stone employed in the construction was 
Renfrew granite, Messrs Andrew and 
James Kerr, of Horton, quarrying it from 
the rock. 

The Church Committee of Management 
for 1850, the year in which probably the 
greater portion of the construction was 
accomplished, consisted of James Mc 
Laren, Wm. Dickson, Henry Airth, jr., 
and Thos. Knight, of Horton ; John Mar 
tin, William Morris, Peter McGregor and 
John Fisher, of McNab ; Joseph Taylor 
and Alexander McXie, of Bagot; and 
Archibald Patterson and Peter Campbell, 
of Admaston. 

The first Pastor was the Rev. Geo. 
Thomson, who began to officiate regularly 
in Oct., 1851, and continued in the minis 
try till his death on Dec. 31st, 1870. After 
a few months interval, he was succeeded 
by the present esteemed Pastor, the Rev. 
R. Campbell. 

To many of the present generation, who 
see the stone for the new church brought 
from Sand Point by railway, it will seem 
scarcely credible that only thirty years 
ago the stone for the old church was 
drawn to the building site on vehicles of 
so primitive a style of construction that 
the wheels, instead of being made with 
spokes, were fashioned out of solid pine. 
Mr D. Barr remembers seeing many a 
load drawn for the church by his father, 
in carts of this description. 

The only member of the original Build 
ing Committee, who is upon the present 
one, is Henry Airth, Esq. He was put 
upon the first as a young and active 
member : his services are desired upon 
the last on account of his matured experi 
ence ; an illustration * to himself and 
others of the fact "how time flies." From 
The Mercury, April l:i, iss:{. 


( Compiled by Rev. P. T. Ryan, P.P. ) 

The Reverend John McNulty, who 
became Parish-Priest of Mount St. 
Patrick in 1842, attended Renfrew as 
a Mission, saying mass here every 
three months. As his territory com 
prised nearly the whole of the County 
of Renfrew and a goodly portion of 
Lanark, it is not surprising that his 
visits to any one place were few and 
far between. The house that served 
as a chapel was the residence of Mr 
James O Connor, at present the Bren- 
nan store. Mass was generally 
served by the late Mr Patrick Devine. 

When a pastoral visit took place, 
this house could not contain the 
crowd : so that, on such occasions, 
service was held at the Albion Hotel, 
now occupied by Mr Robert Graham, 
but of which, at that time, Mr Xavier 
Plante was proprietor. It was on one 
of these occasions, that High Mass 
was sung for the first time in Ren 
frew, the choir being composed solely 
of Mr M. Brousseau, father of Mr 
John Brousseau. 

Already, in Father McNulty s time, 
about 1844 a church of about 60x30 
was erected by the people of Renfrew, 
which however was not completed or 
occupied for worship in his time. 

Father McNulty left these parts in 
1852, and entered the diocese of To 
ronto. Later on he went to the diocese 
of Hamilton, and retired in his old 
age to an asylum at Dundas. There 
he died some fifteen years ago. 
Bishop Guigues made a pastoral 
visit to Renfrew in 1849, saying mass 
at Mr Plante s. 

The relations between Mount St. 
Patrick and Renfrew were now chang 
ed ; the latter becoming the Parish, 
and the former a Mission. Rev. 
Joseph Bouvier was appointed first 
Parish Priest of Renfrew, and entered 
upon his duties in the spring of 1852. 
From the history of the Ecclesiastical 



Province of Ottawa, we find that 
Bishop Guigues made a pastoral visi^ 
early in 1852, and wrote of Renfrew as 
follows :" Forty-five families attend 
the church at Renfrew. Since last 
year the people have made efforts to 
put the church into better shape. 
The village is already of considerable 
size. It would be a good place for a 
priest." No doubt the result of the 
foregoing was the appoinment of Rev. 
Joseph Bouvier. Father Bouvier was 
ordained in 1849, and before coming 
to Renfrew had been parish-priest at 

The first Parish Register was kept 
by Father Bouvier. It is endorsed : 
" Register of Baptisms, Marriages and 
Burials for the Missions of St. Francis 
Xavier of Renfrew and of Mount St. 
Patrick, St. Peter, of Snake River, 
Sand Point, etc." The first entry in 
the Register is a baptism in March, 
1852. Father Bouvier s first care was 
to complete the church started in 
Father McNulty s time. There is no 

record of the dedication of Renfrew s 
first Catholic temple. In 1853, on 
March 4th, Bishop Guigues was in 
Renfrew, accompanied by Father 
Malloy, and blessed a bell for the 
lately completed church. It is the 
smaller of the two bells that are now 
in the belfry of the present church. 
In his remarks on this visit, his Lord 
ship wrote: "There is a great 
change in Renfrew. The presbytery 
is terrnina.ted, the belfry is finished, 
the church put into good shape. All 
this speaks well for the people, and 
particularly for Father Bouvier, who 
has put his own savings into the work 
and, besides, collected 40 among 
the raftsmen." The presbytery men 
tioned was merely a prolongation of 
the church, not a separate construc 
tion. On December llth, 1853, the 
Stations of the Cross were erected in 
Renfrew church. Father Bouvier 
used to attend Arnpriorfrom Renfrew. 
In March, 1854, Father Bouvier was 
transferred to Portaye-du-Fort. 




A community in which the pioneers 
were largely Scotchmen could he 
counted on to look out for the means 
of education almost as quickly as for 
the means of grac^ 1 . In the pioneer 
homes the two gettings went togeth 
er : for the children of the 
Airth family learned to read 
by studying the Testament at night, 
and reading aloud, verse about. They 
had a paper now and again from the 
old country ; hut postage wa.s expen 
sive, and the papers were few. Ma- 
ver s Spelling Book was the only 
volume approaching a text-book. It 
was about 1835 that the settlers were 
strong enough in numbers and cour 
age to attempt to found a school. A 
"Section" was organized, with Dr. 
John McNab, Sergf,. Airth and Thos. 
Costello as trustees. They choose 
Duncan Ferguson as the first teacher. 
He was then a young man of 18 or 19, 
and had come from Drumrnond, with 
the tide of emigration from that dis 

trict of Lanark. He received a salary 
of 40 a year from the people ; and 
this was supplemented by a grant 
from the Government. He boarded 
with the Gibbons and Mayhew famil 
ies. The school house was of sided 
elm logs, and was built on the side of 
what is now the Barr farm, near 
where it joins the Martin farm. 
The scholai-s numbered 25 
or 30. Mr Ferguson was considered a 
good teacher by the people, and also 
received favorable report from Rev. 
Dr. Mann, who was examiner of the 
schools of the district at that period. 
Mr Ferguson taught for about two 
years, and then gave place in June, 
1837, to John Mclnt.yre, who was 
a brother of the Gregor Mclntyre who 
as previously noted had walked the 
40 miles a day, looking for a better 
land than that of Renfrew, and could 
not find it. HP taught for several years 
in this old elm school. At the same 
time, Mr Ferguson was also teaching. 



The village had been growing, and 
he thought that he could do better for 
himself in the centre of population. 
So he erected a little building near the 
north end of what is now the Domin 
ion House, and taught in this for some 
years : charging each scholar a fee. 
But when John Mclntyre relinquished 
his post as teacher to take up clerking 
in the store of Robert Mclntyre, Mi- 
Ferguson gave up his private school 
and went back to teach in the old log 
building on the Barr farm. Not only 
did he teach in the day time, but he 
also founded a night school for the 
benefit of the farmer lads and lassies 
who were needed at home in the day 
time to assist in the arduous labors of 
the pioneer farms. But the 
eaily singing school put an end to the 
night school : probably some time 
in 1848. There were not young 
people enough to keep both night 
school and singing schodi going. So 
the matter was put to a vote : and the 
majority favored the music class, led 
by Archibald Thomson. And thus 
the night school came to an end for 
that season ; and our historians have 
no recollection of it starting again. 

Population continued to increase, 
and the village children found it in 
convenient to walk out the two miles 

to the school house on the Barr farm. 
Hence a building more centrally situ 
ated was projected. For a time, a 
two-storey log building, which had 
been built by J. L. McDougall as a 
pork warehouse, near the hotel on the 
Beauchamp property (then kept by 
Lawrence O Rielly), was utilized for 
school purposes : and the teacher was 
one McDougall, not a relative of John 
Lorn, but a Scotchman from Beck- 
with, and particularly noted from his 
proclivities as a horseman. He taught 
for a year or so, in or- about 1849 so far 
as can now be ascertained, and was 
followed by Robert Rule Wilson, a 
somewhat notable and well educated 
character. Not only was there a new 
teacher at this period, but a new 
school as well. Mr X. Flaunt donated 
the land, and what was known 
for many years as the 

Grammar School was erected. It 
stands in 1901 in rear of the residence 
of Mr. M. Stafford, on Flaunt street. 
It was as the picture shows, a log 
building : and Messrs Henry and 
David Airth were two of the corner 

These then were the schools and 
teachers of Renfrew up to 1850, a 
dividing point in our Story. 



As was noted in an earlier portion 
of the Story, the pioneers of this sec 
tion had to go to Pendergrast s on the 
Quebec side of the Ottawa, with their 
"grists." A small proportion went 
over from Castleford in canoes, but 
the greater portion of the 
grain was taken over by 
sleigh : and some times, when the ice 
formed later than was expected, the 
families had to go on short rations. 
The McNab people, and even some of 
those in Horton, went to Harvey s 
mill at Pakenham. Before 1833, Capt. 
Bell started a mill at Castleford, 
even better known as the "First 
Chute"; bxt somehow it was never 
very successful. There always seem 
ed to be patching necessary ; the dam 
was continually giving way ; and the 
stones were small and slow. It was 
about 1833 or 1834 that two bachelors 
one John Miller, a mill-wright by 
trade ; and James Carmichael, a mil 
ler built a grist mill of sided ash and 
elm logs, on a little dam on Hurd s 
Creek, then McLean s Creek, and now 
known as Smith s Creek. Sergt. 
Airth, wishing to perpetuate some as 
sociation of his home in the old land, 
had sought to call the Creek " Kelvin," 
but this name did not adhere. The 
settlers preferred to call it Hurd s : 
because lumberman Hard had cut a 
" bee line" road from the Flat Rapids 

at J. B. Gibbons to the Lake ; and so 
the lake became " Hurd s," and the 
creek flowing from it to the Bonne- 
chere at Renfrew was Hurd s Creek. 
In later years, it was known as 
"McLean s" and "Smith s," because it 
ran largely through lands owned by 
these parties. Miller and Carmichael 
ran the mill for some years. Then 
Miller sold it to one Tait, who came 
from the West Indies, and arrived in 
this neighborhood with Peter Morris. 
Eventually it fell into Mr Morris 
hands, and the late John McRae came 
to run the mill for him. Later on, 
the establishment became Mr Mc- 
Rae s own ; and he did a thriving 
business, until the establishment of 
the McDougall mill at the " Second 
Chute "(now the falls of the Bonne- 
chere in Renfrew town) : and a year 
or two afterwards, Mr McRae also 
moved into the town ; but these mills 
in the town were not founded until 
after the 1850 period. In the early 
period, probably concurrent with the 
establishment of the Miller and Car 
michael mill, there were gristing es 
tablishments, with which the farmers 
in Horton and McNab traded more or 
less, at Hubbell s Falls, the Rochester 
mills on the Madawaska at Burns- 
town, the Paris mill at White Lake, 
and one in Arnprior. 



As has been said before, it was lum 
ber which brought the white man up 
the Bonnechere. Most of those who 
have been referred to earlier were the 
working men or small jobbers, who 
came for lumber and stayed to till 
the land or take up other occupations. 
Among those who were really pioneer 
lumbermen in the district were the 
Coltons Hiram, Charles and Robert ; 
and these took out their logs chiefly 
in the land about the Pinnacle. In 
1829, three rafts were taken out for 
the Coltons and laid on Clear Point 
by Brunette, Elias Moore ami Joseph 
Mayhew. Dewey was another of the 

early lumbermen of this section ; and 
the McDonalds Alexander, Samuel 
and Paul who came from Glengarry 
and settled at Sand Point, were others 
of the lumbering pioneers. Their 
brother Rory came later on. Captain 
Bell in 1827 had taken up property at 
Oastleford and built a small saw-mill 
there. To be a lumberman, in those 
days, was the supremest height to 
which business ambition could aspire. 
The small boys of that day played 
"lumberman" with the same zest and 
earnestness that the small boy of 
modern times plays "circus" or rail 
way constructor. 


The first Renfrew man to be mar 
ried was probably Antoine Beau- 
cliamp. He was united to Margaret 
McL iren, of McNab, and formerly of 
Perthshire. This ceremony took 
place in Ottawa. John Berlanguet 
was a close second, if not the first. 
He was married to Bessie Halstead : 
the ceremony being performed at 
Castleford by Capt. Bell, who, as a 
magistrate, was authorized to offici 

The first marriage in which both the 
parties were of the younger genera 
tion of Renfrewites was that of Angus 
Mclnnes and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Airth. 
This was in 1833, and they, too, were 
married by Capt. Bell. Mr Alex (bach 
elor Sandy) Stewart was groomsman 
and Jessie Forrest (afterwards Mrs 
Lawrence Naismith) was bridesmaid. 

They drove back from Castleford in 
two rigs, or trainneaus: and their 
home-coming was celebrated by the 
firing off of powder and the giving of 
a dance. 

Probably the first to be married 
in the town itself, or in what 
is now the town, and by a min 
ister instead of by a magistrate, were 
David Barr (father of Mr David Barr, 
of to-day), and Agnes Airth. This was 
about a year later than the Mclnnes 
wedding ; and the clergyman who 
performed the ceremony was the 
Rev. Burney, the first of the Method 
ist missionaries. They were married 
in the Airth homestead, near where 
Mr D. Airth s stone house now is ; 
and Mr Samuel Forrest was the " best 




The first post office in this vicinity 
seems to have been kept hy Oapt. Bell, 
at Castleforcl, or the First Chute. It 
was most probably served from Perth 
by horseback rider. Our historians 
have no very distinct recollection of 
the date of the founding of the office 
at this point, but think that it must 
have been about 1830. For many 
years it was the only office ; but about 
1840 another office was opened about 
half-way between what are now Ren 
frew town and Burnstown village, on 
the farm to day known as Greenlaw 
and occupied by Mr Archibald Smith, 
and which in those days was occupied 

by James Morris, registrar and post 
master, and afterwards sheriff, and 
father of Mrs Geo. Ross, still a resi 
dent of Renfrew. The office in its 
early days was known as McNab Post 
Office ; and for a long term of years 
Mr Robert Stewart, father of Mr R. 
M. Stewart, now of Renfrew, carried 
the mail from Castleford to McNab, 
and so earned the title, which yet 
lingers, of " Pose Rob." It was not 
until after 1850 that an office was 
opened in Renfrew itself. So that 
Capt. Bell and Registrar Morris were 
the only postmasters near Renfrew up 
to that half-century period. 


As our historians were but youths 
in those days, and therefore did not 
take a very strong interest in muni 
cipal matters, and the first minute 
book of Horton apparently has disap 
peared, it is found difficult to get any 
definite particulars of the early muni 
cipal life of the town when it was 
still in township form. Before it as 
sumed separate township existence, 
indeed, it had representation in the 
Bathurst District Council, sitting at 
Perth. Sergeant Airth was the first 
representative to be elected by Hor 
ton. He sat for many years, and was 
followed by John Lorn McDougall, 
father of the present Auditor-General. 
It is also thought that the late Thom 

as Costello was a District Councillor. 
He certainly took a prominent part 
in many municipal affairs in those 
early days. About 1849 or 1850, the 
townships of Horton and Ross were 
organized as a municipality. At this 
period there is some doubt of the 
personcl of the first Council. But it 
is probable that those elected were 
Roderick Ross and one of the Mc 
Laren s but whether James, John or 
Dugald, there is some difference of 
opinion of Ross Township ; and John 
Bui-well, J. L. McDougall and Dr. John 
McNab, of Horton. In those days 
the head of the Council was chosen 
not by vote of the people but 
by the choice of the members of the 



Council ; and in this first Council, 
Mr John Bur-well, though the young 
est metuhef, was the choice for first 
Reeve of Horton and Ross. In the 
course of a year or two, Ross dropped 
out of the union, and then for a few 
years, Horton carried on its business 
alone. In those days not only the 
Councillors but the Clerk, Assessor and 
Collector were elected by popular vote. 
Mr Duncan Ferguson, the teacher, was 
first elected Clerk. But there was a 
little pull between the two sides of 
the river, and at a subsequent elec 
tion, the north siders succeeded in 
electing their candidate, Mr Tas. 
Johnston, father of Mr John Johnston 
of to-day. Mr Johnston occupied the 
post for many years, with a break of 
one year when Robert Rule Wil 
son, the teacher, was elected. 

Referring to our Notes of last week, 

regarding the early municipal history, 
Mr W. N. Faichney tells us that he 
was one of the District Councillors 
sent by the township to the Council 
at Perth ; and Mr John Johnston tells 
us that the first minute book of the 
township now missing went astray 
in the year in which R. R. Wilson 
was Clerk. At all events, it did not 
come into Mr James Johnston s hands 
when he succeeded Mr Wilson, and 
the idea at that time was that the 
proceedings of the year had been so 
irregular that it was desired that 
there should be no record of them. 
Mr Johnston also tells us that it was 
John McLaren, of Ross, who was 
elected one of the first Councillors of 
the united townships of Horton and 
Ross and that this was in the year 
1819: Mr Jas. Johnston having been 
elected Clerk by popular vote at the 
end of 1848. 




Mr Tinswoocl Burton, a native of 
Horton Township, and employed in 
the Department of Public Works of 
Ontario, has been following the Story 
of Renfrew with interest. Delving 
into the records on fyle in the Depart 
ment of the Legislature at Toronto, 
he has come across the original field- 
notes of Owen Quinn, who surveyed 
Horton township in July and August, 
1825, and from them has kindly made 
some extracts which will fit neatly 
into this Story before we commence 
its second part, dealing with the years 
after 1850. 

Nowhere in Notes does he speak of 
roads of any kind in the township, 
but he mentions the fact tViat on Con. 
1, Lots 10, 11, 21 and 23, the Norway 
Pine had been embezzled ; also on 
Con. 4, Lot 18, some of the pine was 
cut, squared and marked Mt ; and 
on Con. 7, Lot 15, some Norway 
pine was cut and taken away to a 
spring brook flowing north. Four 
shanties had been erected on Con. 1, 
Lot 23. No house of any kind does 
he mention on Con. 2, nor does he 
give size of the clearing at the Bonne- 
chere (now Renfrew), as he has done 
with those on the 9th and 10th con., 
on the shore of the Ottawa River. 
After crossing the creek (Smith s) 
the notes read Good arable land- 
timber, pine, maple, basswood and 
some oak. A clearing formerly clear 
ed by lumberers occupied by a Cana 
dian and a black at present. The per 
sons named in possession did no im 
provement. It w;s done by a man 
named Harrass, now deceased. 

After an artistic description of Rose 
Tree Falls three handsome and 
powerful falls, the first of 12 ft. and the 
total fall 20 ft., fit for any kind of ma 
chinery, he pictures the north bank of 
the Bonnechere as a burned surface, 
dry arable land, overgrown with 

Landall s Pinnacle is described as a 
stupendous green rocky mountain, 
supposed to be 400 ft. high. Said 
mountain formerly burned over, with 
brush intercepted with windfalls, fit 
for observatory. You could see in all 
directions the visible horizon over all 
the woods, and is called Landall s 
pinnacle. Said pinnacle could not be 
accurately chained from its cliffs and 
sudden ascent and descent. 

A point on the 8th con., where it 
joins the Ottawa River, is described as 
a great eminence, also fit for observa 
tory, supposed to be 300 ft. over the 
surface of the Ottawa. 

The lower chute on the Bonnechere 
is described as fit for a millsite and 
the falls on a creek on lot 2, con. 11, 
(present site of stave factory) are said 
to be of sufficient power for a distil 

Only two farmers are found in the 
township. John Bulless has cleared 
the point between the Ottawa and 
Bonnechere rivers, in all 19 acres, 1 
rood, 28 perches, cleared and fenced 
and cropped. Additional to the above 
he has built a house, a capital barn, 
stable, ox $hed and cow house. 
George Bissitt has cleared 19 acres 1 
rood, 23 perches, has a beautiful squar 
ed log house here, not yet roofed, and 



an old log house along the 9th 
con. line on the hluff where it joins 
the Ottawa. 

The clearings of these two pioneers 
are nearly equal in size. 

Mention is made of a road construct 
ed from Ptfkenham Township to the 
White Lake, and another from Brock- 
villeto thelodgeof the Laird of.McNab, 
where the Madawaska has its con 
fluence with the Ottawa. 

A list of saw and grist mills on 

Mississippi River is given. A grist 
mill on lot 14, con. 12, Beckwith, on 
the east half, and a hridge over the 
river also; a saw and grist mill on 
lot 16, con. 9, Ramsay ; a saw and 
grist mill on lot 11, con. 11, Pakenham ; 
a saw and grist mill, Mississippi Sny, 
lot 22, con. 9, Fitzroy ; a saw and grist 
mill on lot 25, con. 1, Fitzroy. I am 
sorry to say there are no meeting 
houses yet established in our neigh 
borhood, only the store in Frank- 
town village. 




Renfrew has for many years been 
known as a temperance town, and as 
the Sons of Temperance was organiz 
ed in Renfrew soon after the com 
mencement of the 1850-1900 period, 
and was, outside the churches, the 
first union of the people then here for 
any specific purpose, it is probably 
well in place that the opening of the 
story of the development of the town 
in that half-century should begin with 
the history of the Sons of Temperance. 
The minute books of the Sons have 
all been preserved, with the exception 
of a few of the first pages : and what 
is thus missing regarding the early 
proceedings has been even better 
supplied by the " Reminiscences of 
Renfrew " written some years ago by 
Mr Win. Dickson, of Goderich, and 
then published in The Mercury. 

Following the pledge-signing 
" Washingtonian " movement, the 
Sons of Temperance Society was 
organized in New York to hold the 
growing band of abstainers together, 
on the 29th of September, 1842, with 
a membership of 16. The new Order 
spread rapidly in the States, and six 
years later came over into Canad;i, 
the first Division in Canada being or 
ganized in June, 1848. By next April, 
there were six Divisions, and by that 
time in 1850 there were 28 Divisions, 
with over 1,000 members in Canadn. 
A movement like this, even though 
there were then few newspapers, 
could not but be talked about in a 
district where there were already so 
many thinking and reading men as in 
Renfrew. Here then, too, there were 

conditions that moved that element 
of the Divine in human hearts that 
leads men to plan out how they can 
help to save their weaker brethren. 
For liquor was in nearly every home, 
the grog boss " was a recognized 
official at every barn raising, at every 
funeral liquor was part of the mourn 
ing feast, and when the people were 
gathered together in the village 
hotels the man who would not drink 
and " stand treat," in his turn, was 
looked on as nothing less than stingy : 
for at that time so few had con 
scientious scruples about drinking, 
and drinking hard at times, that such 
a condition as conscientious objection 
to imbibing was hardly thought of. 

This then was the condition of 
affairs in 1850 in Renfrew or rather 
Renfrewville, as it was called for the 
collection of houses and business 
places between the Bonnechere river 
and ihe Creek was still only a portion 
of the township of Horton, and did not 
become organized as a village until 
1858. And just here we will quote 
from Mr Dickson s "Reminiscences": 

DEAR, MERCURY. A few days ago, on 
looking over a number of clippings 
which 1 had preserved, I came across 
one taken from your issue of 22nd Jan 
uary, 1892, headed "40 Years Old." At 
the time I cut that out of the paper, J 
was on a bed of sickness, and just in 
that miserable state of tuind that keeps 
one so absorbed in self that there was 
no room for thought only about dear 
self but it was different when I came 
across it as above. Memory in one 
bound went back to 1852, when I met 
the late Samuel Francis at the post 
office. He asked me if I had thought 
over what he had been speaking about 
to me some few days before. I had to 
confess that personally I had not taken 
much thought about it ; but I had spok- 



en about it to a prominent Gow Crom, 
and he advised to wait until after New 
Yeai, when we would have one more 
blow-out, and then we would go the 
whole hog for it. From Mr Francis I 
heard of the Sons of Temperance for the 
first time. He gave me a clear and cor 
rect idea of what they were and what 
they aimed at. I need scarcely say 
that I entered into it heartily. 
He told me what was necessary 
to have a Division. He said that he 
would try and get an application for us, 
and then we would see what could be 
done. A few days after, a brother chip 
of mine came into my shop as full as a 
piper. He staggered up to a window, 
and sat down on the sill at the cost of 
three squares of glass. I felt just a little 
angry. He said, " Dickson, I hear you 
have an application for a Division of 
the Sons of Temperance." I told him I 
had not one at present, but I said, " If I 
get one, will you sign it?" He said, 
" I will, if you do it," holding out his 
hand to me. I took it, saying " I will 
do it this afternoon." I went down to 
Mr Francis shop and told him the in 
cident. He at once said, "We will have 
it without delay." I think it was the 
next day that Mr Roberts came into my 
shop and handed me a written applica 
tion not one of the usual blank forms- 
signed by several. He at the time told 
me that Mr Francis had told him that 
I had been to him about it, and that he 
had looked up a copy of by-laws for a 
division at the front, and there he found 
the form of an application, which he at 
once wrote out and set about getting 
signatures to it. This Mr Roberts was, 
I think, sledge-hammer man for Mr 
Francis. There was found no difficulty 
in getting all the signatures that were 
necessary to start. When I signed it, 
the man whose name follows mine was 
in my shop at the time. My quondam 
friend kept his word, and signed it also. 
About an hour after he did so, he came 
to me, shouting " Dickson, I have done 
it." He further promised that he would 
not drink a drop from that time for 
ward? but, poor fellow, his case was 
one that Hector McNeil so ably describes 
in poem called, "Will an Jen," when he 

" But, alas ! when habit s rooted, 
Few hae pith the root to poo , 
Will s resolves were aie non-suited : 
Promised aie but aie forgot." 

Well, all the necessary signatures we 
got, together with the necessary funds ; 
and in a few days we were notified that 
the Division would be organized in 
Plaunt s Hotel, on the evening of the 
29th January, 1852. I am not certain if 
the 29th is correct, but that is immater 
ial. On the night set for organizing, 
eleven of the charter members met at 
Plaunt s hotel the present stone one 
on Main street, near to Mr Dougall s 
carriage shop. There we met Captain 
Hillv_ard, Dr. Purvis, Alex. Gordon and 
Edwin Drew: the three former from 
Portage-du-Fort : and the latter, 1 
think, came from Westmeath. These 

at once, opened the Division, and initiat 
ed all that were in waiting; then pro 
ceeded to organize the Division in* due 
form, handing the charter to our first 
W.P. (I think the late Wm. Watt), and 
proclaiming Renfrew Division No. 151, 
under the jurisdiction of the Grand 
Division of Upper Canada, in full work 
ing order. Such was our first night as 
a Division. One thing I may state : 
that all our charter members, with two 
exceptions, joined within the prescribed 
time for charter members. The last to 
join was the late E. Billings. From 
that date it may be said that Renfrew 
entered upon a new era. It seemed as 
if the whole country had become alive 
to the fact that something new had 
suddenly sprung up among them. 
Everywhere the talk was these Sons of 
Temperance : What are they, what do 
they want, what are they going to do? 
A sort of social war seemed to have 
sprung up for and against the Sons. 
The very poetry of the place was chang 
ed. Here let me give you a specimen of 
the new poetry that was introduced 
with the advent of the Sons : 

The teetotalers are coming, 
The teetotalers are coming, 
The teetotalers are coming 
With their cold water pledge. 

We re a band of freemen, 
We re a band of freemen, 
We re a band of freemen, 
And we will sound it through the land. 

We mean to save our bacon 
And all the land awaken, 
Stand firmly and unshaken 
To the cold water pledge. 

We re a band, &c. 
Another : 

O, rum it is a botheration ; 
It deadens all the circulation ; 
It kills the soul, it kills the body ; 
All is din by drinking toddy. 


Out of the way, old Sir Toddy ; 
Out of the way, old Sir Toddy ; 
Out of the way, old Sir Toddy ; 
You re a drunken thievish body. 

Again : 

I dreamt a dream the other night, 
When all around was still. 
I thought I saw the de il himself 
A coming down the hill. 

The whiskey jug was in his hand 
And gladness in his eye ; 
Butwhen he sawthe temperance house 
He heaved a heavy sigh. 

" Oh rumseller, did you not promise me 
When I came up to see this land 
No temperance house I d see." 

Then the more plaintive wail of the 
justly celebrated John B. Gough, the 
great temperance orator his "Long 
Ago, Long Ago," and many others that 
I could give you samples of, but the 
above are sufficient for my purpose. I 


am sure there are not a few even yet in 
your town that will have a lively recol 
lection of the above. I may just hint 
there is David, Henry, and William 
Airth, Smith, Fraser, Faichney, Mackay, 
Thomson, and others that will know 
them at once when reminded of the 
Jong ago. 

Sons of Temperance, wherever they 
were started, undertook a work of no 
ordinary kind ; for they literally attack 
ed the social custom of the day, and the 
undertaking; was specially a hard one in 
Renfrew, situated as it then was in the 
heart of a large lumbering district. 
Drinking (I will not say drunkenness) 
was a custom prevalent not only 
amongst those engaged in the lumber 
ing business, but private families were 
very rarely without liquor, it being in 
variably used in dispensing hospitality, 
and then at gatherings of all kinds- 
logging bees, raisings. Who amongst 
your old inhabitants can forget that 
useful character, the grog boss. I have 
even seen it used at quilting and husk 
ing bees, marriages and funerals. Well 
do I recollect a funeral that took place 
not a hundred miles from Renfrew. 
When the friends were all gathered to 
convey the deceased to his last resting 
place, just before the body was lifted, 
some of the near friends came out with 
baskets of bread and cheese and the 
whiskey bottle. One of them asked a 
clergyman that was present to ask a 
blessing before dispensing the refresh 
ments ; but the servant of God declined 
to do so, he being a Son of Temperance. 
It would surprise your readers were 
they to hear the comments that were 
made on the unchristian and unfeeling 
conduct of that minister, in declining 
to do such a small thing as asking a 
simple blessing on God s mercies that 
were to be distributed among the 
people, and they were distributed ac 
cording to custom that is, three 
rounds. This was the work the Sons 
had undertaken to do putting down 
the drinking customs of the day. 
Scarcely was the Division in working 
order, when the members found that 
they, individually as svell as collective- 
iy, were the targets for the sneering 
and jeering of every Wise Willie and 
Willy Apeie ; but they kept their work 
before them, nothing faltering, know 
ing and believing that they had the 
hearty co-operation of every good 
and Christian man and woman. Of this 
1 had a very striking proof when the 
Division was some live or six months 
old. I was at a sort of private meeting 
in connection with Sunday Schools. 
The meeting was held in a private 
house near the Bonnechere Point. 
There was one Peter O Neil present. 
He brought a friend with him. When 
all were assembled, Mr O Neil was re 
quested to open the meeting with 
prayer. Mr O Neil turned to his friend, 
who at once complied. He put up one 
of the finest prayers I ever heard, and 
specially did he pray for the Sons of 
Temperance, who were engaged in the 
mission of saving men from the vice of 

drunkenness. That man I don t know 
his name but in ordinary conversation 
he had a bad stammering tongue : but 
when he approached the Throne of 
Grace it was with no stammering lips. 
Then his speech was clear, and every 
word round and full. Then there were 
two branches of the Protestant Church 
that took up the cause at once, and 
their ministers, both by precept and 
example, helped the Division in their 

The new Order grew rapidly. As 
noted, most of the charter members 
joined very soon after the organiza 
tion. The charter members wei e 
Samuel Francis, Archibald Thomson, 
Donald Frazer, Thos. Culbertson, 
Richard Dickson, Jas. Mills, Win. 
Dickson, Jesse Millar, William Gor 
don, William Forrest, William Watt, 
Robert Rule Wilson, William Roberts, 
Elkanah Billings, John Smith, Win. 
Jamieson, Henry Airth and Charles 
Man son. 

Elkanah Billings was a lawyer, 
Robert Rule Wilson a teacher, Charles 
Manson a preacher, and William 
Gordon a shoemaker; and did not 
remain many years in the neighbor 
hood. Of the others, those who were 
then men of years or middle age were 
the heads of families which have taken 
prominent part in the affairs of Ren 
frew and the surrounding district 
through all the half century, whilesome 
of the then younger men in the list 
have themselves been prominent in its 
affairs. During the ten years im 
mediately following the organization 
of the Division most of the men in 
the locality were initiated the Dick- 
sons, Gibbons, Martins, Forrests, 
Lindsays, Erasers, Mayhews, Wal 
lace s, Russells, Mclnneses, Kippens, 
K<! wards, Airths, Enrlys, Warrens, 
Smiths, Froods, Thompsons, Mc- 
Nevins, Wilsons, Burtons, Dunlops. Mc 
Gregors, Richardsons, Brills, Stew 
arts, &c,, of Horton and Bagot, and 
the Browns, Fergusons, Campbells, 
Briscos, Blacks, Cardiffs, Bremners, 
Barries and Bowes, of Admastnn ; 
the Robertsons, Stevensons, , Car- 
michaels, Hamiltons and Storeys, 
of McNab ; and many individuals 



Dr. Allan Carswell, J. L. Mc- 
Dougall, Geo. Ross, Wm. Logan, 
Win. Mackay, John McRae, John 
Burns, Robert Drysdale, Andreas 
Palmer, Wm. Faichney, Jas. Ward, 
Hercules Scott, David McArthur, 
Mackie Barr, besides those on the 
charter list who are even yet remem 
bered by many of the citizens of Ren 
frew. It was a galaxy of strong men 
who met in that Division Room dur 
ing its early years well-read men, 
thinking men, men of action : and 
to one who knew them, or has 
heard stories of them, the thought 
comes that there must have 
been stirring times and lively 
debates within the Division Room 
between the years 1852 and 1860. 

Early in the course of the Division s 
work there were given evidences of 
the progressive spirit, and the deter 
mination to have nothing but the 
best, that have all along seemed to 
animate the moving spirits in Ren 
frew s active life. At one of the first 
meetings of the Sons an offer was re 
ceived from Bytown Division to sell 
their regalia ; but it was promptly re 
jected on the erround that they were 
too inferior. The By-laws adopted by 
Renfrew Division were those of the 
North Augusta Division ; William 
Jamieson being chairman of the com 
mittee which adapted them to Ren 
frew use, and receiving a vote of 
thanks for his able conduct in the 
chair. About three months after the 
Division started, a committee was ap 
pointed to report on the prospects for 
building a temperance hall, and the 
most economical method of doing it. 
The committee reported that as no joint 
stock company could hold real estate it 
would not be possible to take action 
at that time. So the Division con 
tinued to meet in an upper room of 
Xavier Flaunt s hotel, now the Albion 
hotel. On April 22nd, 1852. James 
Brisco, of Admaston, was proposed 
and admitted as a member. This was 
a notable event : for he was ever 
thereafter one of the mainstays of the 
Order, keeping up his regular attend 

ance every week, walking the four 
miles between his home in Admaston 
and the Division room until he was a 
very old man. He seemed to have 
been possessed of what in these days 
is known as "sunny ways," for he was 
on different occasions called on as a 
committee of one to settle differences 
of opinion. 

In those days the initiation fee was 
7 shillings and 6d.; and it is on record 
that if any wished to join and were 
not able to raise the whole amount of 
initiation fee, the Division would loan 
the greater part of it : that is, the 
applicant for admission should pay 
2s. 6d. cash and give a note for the 

Among the early activities of the 
Division came the arranging for 
public temperance meetings in the 
neighborhood in Dochart, Goshen 
and Burnstown and in getting 
signatures to petitions for a Maine 
prohibitory law for Canada, and 
soliciting the aid in this direction of 
the Roman Catholic priest and of the 
Rev. Geo. Thomson, by this time 
settled as the minister of the Presby 
terians ; and also in modestly request 
ing the then representative in Parlia 
ment, James Shaw, to support the pro 
hibitory measure in Parliament if he 
consistently could. 

On the 1st of July, 1852, Bro. Wm. 
Dickson gave notice of application for 
the incorporation of the Renfrew 
Division of the Sons of Temperance, 
and at the same meeting Rev. Chas. 
Manson was elected as the first re 
presentative to the Grand Division. 
On the 15th the resolution for incor 
poration carried, and on the 20th 
the registration of incorporation was 
made before James Morris, registrar. 
On the 15th, also, a notable resolution 
was carried. It was simple in phrase 
ology. Only : " Moved by Bro. (Wm.) 
Watt, seconded by Bro. (John) Smith, 
and resolved : That this Division have 
a Brass Band." Just whose proposi 
tion this was, unless that of the 
movers, the minutes tell us not. It 
would almost seem that Bro. Wm. 



Logan, wbo had come into Renfrew 
Division by card from Bytown 
Division, was a moving spirit, for it 
is later on recorded that " Bro. Logan 
delivered an enthusiastic speech on 
the glories of the Band," and on the 
motion of Bros. Watt and Logan a 
committee of ten was chosen to solicit 
subscriptions for a Band. And while 
this was going on, and arrangements 
being made for music outside the 
Division Room, there was the music 
of poetry within ; for at the meeting 
of August 5th, it is recorded that 
Bro. (Calvin F.) Russell, the Poet 
Laureate of the Division, recited a 
poem for the benefit of the Insti 
tution." August the 12th, 1852, was 
a busy night in the Division Room. 
John Burns, Wm. Airth and Hercules 
Scott (the first two now gone on to 
the grave, the last still a resident of 
Renfrew, aged 95) were made mem 
bers ; a letter was read from Robert 
Macintyre, quoting prices for Band 
instruments ; Bro. Logan moved a 
vote of thanks to Jas. Shaw, M.P., 
for his liberal donation to the Band, 
and announced that a meeting of the 
Band Committee would be held on 
Saturday evening, that all the mem 
bers were expected, and that a tine of 
two shillings would be imposed for 
non-attendance ; Bro. Russell repoi t- 
1 ed from the Band Committee that 
4 10 had already been paid in to 
wards the Band ; and before the 
Division closed the members present 
subscribed 210 more for the purchase 
of instruments. On the 26th, Bro. 
Watt presented a set of rules that he 
had prepared for the guidance of the 
Band s members. These were unani 
mously adopted. They were fairly 
of the character of cast iron ; and 
were luckily not like those of the 
Medes and Persians. Because it was 
soon found then, as it has been found 
in all the days since, that volunteer 
Bandsmen are not readily amenable 
to rules. At the meeting on September 
1st, the invoice of the Band in 
struments from Mead & Co. was read, 
but the amount is not noted. At this 

meeting, also, Bro. Watt moved in 
the matter of building a temperance 
hall, and on his motion a committee 
consisting of Bros. Wm. Jamieson, 
John Smith, Wm. Logan, Wm. Watt 
and Dr. Cat-swell was appointed to 
see what price Mr McDougall would 
fix upon for a site. 

At the meeting on 16th Sept. the 
Sons passed a vote of thanks to Mr 
Flaunt for tVie use of a room in his 
hotel for a meeting place, and also 
discussed the prospectus of a tem 
perance paper "The Spirit of the 
Age." On- the 16th also it was reported 
that Mr McDougall gave the Sons a 
choice of three sites, and a committee 
consisting of Bros. John Burns, John 
Smith, Samuel Francis, Wm. Dick- 
son and Wm. Watt was appointed to 
select the site, report what kind of a 
building should be erected, and what 
its cost would be. On October 7th, 
John Mclnnes was initiated. This 
was another important night in the 
Division s history : for Mr Mclnnes 
proved a very staunch member, and 
for years when the Division had lost 
the freshness of youth and novelty, 
he would drum up the membership. 
When Thursday night came around, 
his head would pop into a door here 
and a door there, and "Are you 
comin doon th nicht, James?" or 
John or William, as the case might 
be, would be his question : and so, 
often there was a meeting through 
his drumming up, when otherwise the 
light would not have been lit. On the 
14th it was reported that nine of the 
Band instruments had been taken up, 
and that one remained to be tilled. 
On the 21st, on the initiation of 
Messrs Russell and Logan an invita 
tion was sent to John B. Gough to 
come to Renfrew to deliver a tem 
perance lecture : and Bro. Russell re 
cited a poem on the Band. On the 
28th it was mentioned by Bro. John 
Smith that Mr Plaunt was about to 
commence the keeping of a temper 
ance house, and Mr Smith recom 
mended that the Division should ad 
vertise it in the local papers that 



meaning Perth or Carleton Place 
papers. On the 4th, the application 
of the Orangemen for the use of the 
Division s drum to celebrate the 5th of 
November was considered. A motion 
to refuse it was rejected and a motion 
to loan it carried, on sufficient security 
being offered to guarantee the repay 
ment for possible damage. At this 
meeting also it was announced that 
Mr Plaunt s Renfrew Temperance 
House would be opened on December 
1st. This night, too, a deputation of 
Renfrew ladies knocked nt the door of 
the Division room, and, on their busi 
ness being made known, were admit 
ted : the brothers receiving them stand 
ing. The ladies came to present to 
the Division a Bible and a pair of 
candlesticks. November llth Bro. 
Gilbert, the Bandmaster, arrived on 
the scene. He came from Perth, 
where he was already a member of 
the Order. He brought his cornet 
with him, and so on the evening of 
Thursday, Nov. llth, 1852, there peal 
ed forth for a first time in Renfrew 
the brazen notes of a cornet. On the 
9th December, a celebration of the 
Division s first anniversary was pro 
posed for Jan. 20th then coming, and 
Bro. Drysdale proposed that a sub 
scription be taken up to provide a 
flag for the Division. At the next 
meeting the flag proposition was, on 
motion of Bro. Dickson, "knocked on 
the head." It may be noted that like 
" truth crushed to earth," Bro. Drys- 
dale s dream of a flag rose again- 
just fifteen years later, and then the 
flag was procured. On that particular- 
night, it may be remarked, that Bro. 
Dickson apparently had his war-paint 
on. The Committee on the Anniver 
sary Social had evidently in their 
report recommended that, the Social 
be run on Quaker principles that i., 
that the males should sit separate 
from the females; and this part of 
the report, Bro. Dickson moved 
should be eliminated. He had the 
hearts and votes of the young men 
with him, and that portion of the re 
port was rescinded. 5 vas voted to 

Mr Flaunt to purchase articles for the 
anniversary soiree : and an angry 
discussion ensued over some anony 
mous articles which had appeared in 
the public prints, alleged to have been 
written by a brother to gratify his 
personal spite. The Division passed a 
resolution condemning the author of 
the letters. At the last meeting of 
the year, there was evidence given of 
the steady growth of the memb^r- 
ship, for 15 more regalias were order 
ed, and material procured for 15 more 
than that. 

And then came the first Anni 
versary. Here again we will let Mr 
Win. Dickson be the historian, in his 
"Reminiscences of Renfrew :"- 

Our first public appearance as Sons 
was a big day in Renfrew. It was also 
the first time that our band played in 
public. The Divisions from Litchfield 
and Westmeath were present. We 
marched through the village, headed 
by the band, dressed out in all our 
paraphernalia : or, as many of the 
sneering onlookers said, in our bibs. 
Our band played strong and lusty, and 
every Son in that procession felt as 
proud as if he were a host in himself. 
In the evening, we held a soiree the 
first that was held in the village. It 
was held in the large hall near Xavier 
Plaunt s stone stable. It was entered 
by a stair on the outside. We had a 
temporary gallery put up in the east 
end. The whole place was packed. 
Standing room could not be found. 
How the waiters managed to serve all 
in that crowd I never could understand, 
for the crowd was actually a jam. But 
they did it, and so well, that it furnish 
ed talk for many a day afterwards, and 
all admitted that the soiree was a 
sucqess, and a treat of no ordinary kind. 
But now the eating is over, and the 
speaking is begun. I do not recollect 
who was the chairman for the evening, 
but I think it was the late WilHam 
Watt. The principal speakers were 
the Rev. Simon C. Fraser, Rev. Andrew 
Melville, of the Free Presbyterian 
Church, Re\r. Mr Pomeroy, Rev. Mr 
Beatty, and I think the Rev. Mr Man- 
son, of the Methodist Church. Then 
there were quite a number of local 
orators. The principal speaker s were 
well aware of the task they had before 
them, in their first appearance before 
the public as advocates for the prin 
ciples of the Sons of Temperance, and 
nobly did they discharge their duties 
that night. Not one of them gave any 
uncertain sounds or misleading state 
ments. In plain and forcible language 
they told the large audience why the 
Sons were there, and what they were 
there for: at the same time telling 
them what was their duty in the 



struggle for freedom from the tyrant, 
King Alcohol. Mr Pomeroy was 
especially pointed on King Alcohol, and 
his speech was full of wit and humor. 
It was there that your correspondent 
made his maiden public speech a 
speech that was known for many a day 
afterwards as the speech of scraps and 
parings, and which led to a paper war 
in the Carleton Place Herald, in which 
considerable powder was burnt, but 
nobody was hurt. After the soiree, the 
public seemed to have a settled con 
viction that the Sons had come to stay, 
and they even went so far as to admit 
that the Sons were rather a respectable 
crowd just a shade better than the 
rag-tag and bob-tail of humanity. s>o 
we all felt that our work was progress 
ing, in spite of the mean and unmanly 
opposition that we had to tight against. 

As this was the first public appear 
ance of the Band it may he noted that 
the players were, besides Professor 
Gilbert, John Burns, John Smith, on 
the cornets ; David Airth, bass drum ; 
Wm. Airth and Samuel Francis, 
trombones ; Wm. Roberts, saxhorn ; 
Wm. Logan, A. Fraser, and Geo. 
Affleck, on other instruments. On 
the 26th of February, 1853, Hercules 
Scott was chosen to play the picolo ; 
Wm. Gordon, 1st clarionet ; Wm. 
Watt for the saxhorn ; and Duncan 
Ferguson for the other clarionet. 

On March 3rd, 1853, James Morris, 
JohnMcRae, Wm. Mackay and Gordon 
Gilchrist were initiated into the Sons 
of Temperance ; on the 23rd another 
Hall building committee was appoint 
ed, consisting of Rev. Chas. Manson, 
J. Mclntosh, David Airth, Robert 
Drysdale and John Burns : and at the 
following week s meeting they report 
ed that a log-building 45x30 could he 
built for 60 or a frame building 50x30 
for 200. 

In April meetings, Bro. Win. Watt 
was presented with a Family Bible as 
a tribute of respect for the "upright, 
able, independent and energetic man 
ner in which he discharged the duties" 
of Worthy Patriarch ; Dr. Cars- 
well was presented with a hook for 
his kindness to some sick brother ; 
thanks were returned to the Hon. 
Malcolm Cameron and Col. Prince for 
their efforts to pass a Prohibitory 
Act ; and Bros. Geo. Ross, J. L. Mc- 
Dougall, Henry Airth, and John Mc- 

Rae were appointed the committee to 
draft this resolution of thanks. 

An invitation was extended to a Mr 
Kellogg, an American lecturer, to 
speak in Renfrew. He came on May 
20th, was met by the Brass Band 
and the Sons in procession, was 
boarded free by hotel-keeper Munro, 
and was paid 2 10s. for two lectures ; 
Bros. Watt, Logan, Ross, McDougall 
and Robert McNab contributing five 
shillings each to make up a deficiency 
in the collections. 

In July, much time was taken up 
with discussing the visit of the Gov 
ernor-General, Lord Elgin, up the 
Ottawa. It was arranged that the 
Band should go to Sand Point 
to meet him ; and that the 
Division should present him with 
an address. The preparation 
of this address was committed to 
Bros. David and Henry Airth, John 
Smith, Win. Jarnieson and C. F. 
Russell. Evidently, they put some 
politics into it, for at the meeting at 
which it was presented for the con 
sideration of the Division, Bro. Wm. 
Watt moved that the references to 
the present Government be expugned : 
and this motion carried. 

On Jan. 19th, 1854, another mem 
ber destined to take an active part in 
the Division s work, was initiated 
the late James Airth. From that 
time until his death in 1867 he took a 
prominent share in the Division s 

For the second anniversary, 20th 
Jan., 1854, John Deacon, Perth, (now 
Senior County Judge of Renfrew), 
was invited to be the leading speaker. 
He wrote that it was not in his power 
to attend. There are no minutes tell 
ing whether there was a second an 
niversary soiree or not ; but on the 
30th Jan. the Division and Band re 
ceived Hon. Malcolm Cameron. 

On June 29th, 1854, it was decided 
to purchase one-quarter of an acre of 
land from J. L. McDougall for 12 10. 
This was the land on which the 
present Temperance Hall and Fire 
Hall stand. In August, a building 



committee was once again formed : 
this time being composed of Duncan 
Ferguson, John Mclnnes, C. F. Rus- 
sel, Geo. Brown and Wm. Watt. At 
this same meeting, too, a vexed ques 
tion came up the admission of ladies 
to the Division meetings, not as mem 
bers, but as Visitors. The proposition 
did not find favor with the old-stagers, 
and was voted down. Six months 
later, however, the gallant members 
won, the ladies were admitted, and in 
a few meetings thereafter a motion 
was passed, thanking Bro. Chas. R. 
Black for " proposing so many young 
and handsome ladies in this 
Division." Meantime, the building 
of the Temperance Hall was progress 
ing apace : in October 15 being voted 
to pay Mr Brace, of the Grand River, 
for sawn lumber for the Hall, and 
Duncan Ferguson being given the job 
of getting out the frame timber at 
2Jd. per running foot. In March, 
Bros. Jamieson and Mayhew were 
added to the building committee ; 
thanks were returned to Bro. Burns 
for the offer of the use of his house 
as a meeting place until the Hall was 
finished, and notice was given to Mr 
Smith that the Division would leave 
his hall on 20th April. 

November loth, 1855, was another 
notable night : for then it was that 
James Ward, not then long a resident 
of the community, was proposed for 
membership, and that night, also, a 
motion carried that the Band in 
struments be called in. The Baud 
had gone the way of most Bands after 
a brief career to pieces. Nov. 29th, 
Mr Ward was initiated a member, a 
few weeks after he was elected to 
office, and in office he has been for all 
the nearly fifty years that have fol 
lowed. It is safe to say that only for 
his steadfast faithfulness, Renfrew 
Division would not now be in exist 
ence to be proud of its fifty years of 
good service. 

It was ort in 1856 before the Division 
was able to occupy its new Hall. The 
funds had run short : but by an ar 
rangement with Mr John Burns he 

went on with the work of building, 
the Division giving a mortgage for 
the 53 18 6^ remaining unpaid of the 
90 which the building was to cost. 
For many years thereafter, the 
Hall was the general place of enter 
tainment in the village, and many of 
the religious denominations held 
their early services within its walls. 
It remained a few feet back from 
Main street until 1893, when it was 
sold to the town for $200, and remov 
ed to the rear part of the lot, between 
the new Temperance Hall and the 
Fire Hall, where it yet remains as a 
store-house for the hook and ladder 
truck and other corporation tools. 

In August, 1856, the Almonte Divi 
sion of the Sons of Temperance made 
an offer for the Renfrew Band instru 
ments, and after some negotiation the 
transfer was made, part of the instru 
ments being sold for 16 10s. and the 
balance a little laler for 6 more. 

Once meeting in their own Hall the 
Division settled down to business, 
and for many years there does not 
appear to have been a great deal that 
was noteworthy transpiring. The 
pledging of most of the men of the 
community to total abstinence, the 
holding of occasional public meetings, 
and the distribution of temperance 
literature, occupied the attention of 
the members. There were a good 
many up and downs in membership 
also : a great many violations of the 
pledge, and a great many re obliga 
tions. Many sad as well as amusing 
tales could be told of the temptations 
of the pioneer abstainers ; and of the 
efforts some of the stauncher brothers 
put forth to guard their weaker 
brothers in their battle with custom 
and appetite. 

In 1868, a public temperance demon 
stration was held, in which the Ren 
frew and Horton Divisions and the 
Renfrew and Rosebank Good Templars 
united. It was successful, and $40 
profit was divided between the four. 
It was in June of 1868 that Bro. Drys- 
dale s dream of a flag for the Division 
came to realization : for it was moved 



by Bros. Jas. Ward and Robert 
Carswell, that Bros. J. H. Walford, 
David McGill and David Stewart pro 
cure a flag for the Division. This 
they did at a cost of $9.67. In Sept 
ember of 1868, the Division had its 
first visit from Edward Carswell, tem 
perance lecturer, and still on the field 
of action, though in poor health. 

In the 1870-1880 period the following 
were among the members of the Divi 
sion : and contains a list of a large 
proportion of the men taking active 
part in many village affairs : 

James Stewart J. Murphy 

Jas. R^id D. McAndrew 

Jas. Guthrie A. Leggett 

A. Lindsay A. J. Mclntyre 

J. R. Smith Thos. Henderson 

G. W. McDonald J. Bannerman 

Alex. Fraser Geo. McKain 

John McDougall E. Barber 

Arch. Mills H. Whitley 

J. McAndrew B. Leacy 

Win. Foss P. Montgomery 

Josh Stevenson Thos. Howard 

D. C. McDougall John Scott 

John Hollinger Chas. Brigden 

Bro. Tvvidle S. Kilby 

R. Malheson A. McKechnie 

Geo. Smith G. J. Clint 

W. Cochrane W. Hurlbert 

John McKinley C. Jackson 

Adam Inglis W. Halpenny 

F. Anglis Adam McLellan 

J. M. Glenn Willard Palmer 

Hector McRae H. Stafford 

Black wood P. W. Francis 

P. McRae J. B. Bell 

John Tooke D. F. Stewart 

Geo. Archer W. Murray * 

Rev. R. Campbell J. Morphy 

J. H. Walford T. B. Hiitton 

Just about the beginning of the 
1880 period, the Division simply 
dragged along for a time ; but spring 
ing out of some personal events aris 
ing in the Town Brass Band of that 
time, the work was taken up again 
with some vigor. At this time, Jas. 
Ward, the late John R. Smith, Jas. 
Stewart, Jas. Reid, Rev. Dr. Campbell, 
the late P. McRae, J. H. Walford and 
Thos. Knight were the mainstays of 
the Order ; and on the suggestion of 
Bro. Geo. McKain, the re-organization 
of the Mechanics Institute, which had 
been dormant for a time, was under 

taken by the Sons. At the beginning 
of 1881 there was another effort made 
to swell the membership, and at this 
time there came into the ranks : 
Orange Wright, Robt, Gordon, Henry 
Stevenson, J. R. Gemmill, N. W. 
Cleary, Win. Smith, A. McArthur, D. 
McArthur, E. Olivet, W. C. Dougall, 
A. C. Affleck, D. Kennedy, W. Camp 
bell, John McNicol, Jas. McArthur, S. 
McConkey and W. E. Smallfield. At 
this .time, the chief work of the 
Division consisted in listening to the 
reading each night of a few chapters 
from the Scottish story " Dunvar- 
leigh"; and in completing the work 
proposed the previous year of re 
organizing the Mechanics Institute. 

In April, 1884, the Division took on 
fresh vigor once again. There was 
some local temperance work to be 
done, and the membership flowed in 
steadily, the most prominent accession 
at that time being the late Robert 
Airth, who thenceforward took an 
active part in the nffairs of the 
Division, and the temperance work in 
the county, until his death in 1891. 
Not long after this re-organization, 
the temperance people were advised 
by the Dominion Government in 
response to their request for Pro 
hibitory legislation, to submit the 
Scott Act to the people, to test the 
popular feeling. This gave those 
interested something definite to do, 
and the result was a high tide in 
membership. The roll for a consider 
able length of time showed a list of 
nearly 200. The interest and the 
membership kept up fairly well 
through the four years in which the 
Scott Act was in operation ; but after- 
its repeal there was a perceptible fall 
ing off in interest : yet the meetings 
were held regularly. 

In 1892, a proposition was made 
that the Division should present 
part of its lot in the centre of 
the town to the Corporation as a 
site for a fire hall. As the Muni 
cipal Council had always treated the 
Division liberallv in the matter of 



taxation, this proposal met with ready 
favor. Oct. 6th, 1892, the resolution 
was carried to present the Argyle 
street half of the property to the 
Council, with the right of a 12-ft. lane 
to Main st., so long as the lot was 
used for fire-hall purposes : with the 
proviso that if the lot or any building 
put upon it were ever used for the 
purposes of the sale of intoxicating 
liquors, the lot and buildings would 
at once revert to the Sons of Tem 

March 2nd, 1893, Bro. -Smallfield 
proposed the building of a new hall, 
and on his motion, seconded by Bro. 
A. Fraser. a committee consisting of 
O. J. Scott, Jas. Ward, W. M. Dick- 
son, Geo. Eady, Jr., and W. E. Small- 
field was appointed to report on the 
probable cost. The matter was gone 
into heartily : the Town Council 
bought the old hall for $200, as a tool 
shed ; and the present Temperance 
Hall was erected by J. & J. D. Mc- 
Nicol on plans prepared by J. D. Mc- 
Nicol at a cost of some $3.200 ; and a 
piano placed in it. The second storey 
of this Hall has since 1893 done duty 
as the place of public entertainment 
in the town, and is now used as the 
town hall on occasions requiring 
public gatherings. 

Since that time, the Division has 
met almost without the break of a 
week, except in July and August, 
when indoor meetings are riot popular. 
The membership has been up high 
and down low. But the work has 
gone on steadily, and just at the pres 
ent time there is a fine group of young 

people in membership, and a Brass 
Band is being organized. 

On the 20th of January, 1902, the 
50th anniversary of the Division was 
celebrated : and as the close of this 
portion of the Story, we quote the 
chairman s summing up of the fifty 
years work of Renfrew Division No. 
151, Sons of Temperance : 

While, there was nothing imposing in 
outward appearance in the story he had 
to tell, there were few who could meas 
ure the influence that had gone forth 
from the old Division Room in the fifty 
years. Renfrew was proud of its repu 
tation as a temperance town, as a place 
where there was less drinking and less 
lawlessness, and a better chance for its 
young men to grow to years of discretion 
clean, than in most towns of its size ; 
and to this, he claimed the Division had 
largely contributed. The Division had 
always borne its share in civic enter 
prises it had fathered the flrt Brass 
Band, mothered two or three Reading 
Rooms and the Mechanics Institute, had 
been brother to many of the religious 
denominations, which had worshipped 
under its roof in their weaker days, it 
had shielded men in their hour of weak 
ness, its members had laid down their 
tools and stood guard for hours over 
fellow-men in their battle with appetite, 
it had lent aid to the needy, it had 
buried its dead, it had brought to the 
town teachers and preachers of tem 
perance, it had circulated good 
literature, it had organized to carry 
laws, and organized to enforce them, 
it had made happy mairiages, it had 
trained young: men in the ways of 
public business, and given them op 
portunities of learning public speaking, 
it had sent forth men to success in 
business, to responsible positions in the 
public service, and to the field of battle. 
There had of course been much of 
human nature in it, much of routine, 
much of foolishness, much of waste 
effort, but through all this had gone on 
the good work of educating public 
sentiment, of saving men, and of mak 
ing life cleaner and purer and happier 
for the hundreds who had signed its 




While the Sons of Temperance, or 
ganized at this point in 1852, through 
its long career has had much to do 
with public affairs in many ways, it 
was of course essentially a social and 
philanthropic institution : and the 
Agricultural Society, organized a few 
months later, was the first union of 
the people in Renfrewville for the 
advancement of the material interests 
of the community. 

The then Parliament of Canada hav 
ing made an appropriation for the en 
couragement of Agricultural Societies, 
it was not long hefore the progressive 
men of Renfrew County took it into 
their heads that some of the money 
might he employed to advantage in 
this part of the province. It. is a dis 
puted point as to whom the credit is 
due of first hringing this idea hefore 
the public. However, from the min 
utes of the Society, kindly placed at 
our disposal by Robert McLaren, Esq., 
the energetic and obliging Secretary, 
we find that the first practical action 
in the matter was taken in April, 1853, 
through a requisition to Henry Airth 
and W. N. Faichney, Esqs., J.P. s for 
the United Counties of Lanark and 
Renfrew, asking that a meeting of the 
inhabitants of the County of Renfrew 
might be held at an early d*te for the 
purpose of organization. The names 
of the following gentlemen were at 
tached to the requisition : George 
Ross, Wrn. Jamieson, Alex. Martin, S. 
Cournbes, Wm. Harris, John Munro, 
Geo. Thompson, J. L. McDougall, 
Thos. New, Joseph New, Wm. Logan, 
Thos. Costello, Wm. Forrest, Robt. 
McNab, Philip Thomson, John Bums, 

Angus Mclnnes, Alex. Stewart, John 
Millar, John Smith, John McDonald, 
Allan Carswell, Wm. Watt, John Mc 
Nab, John McRae and John Burwell. 

The meeting was held in the Gram 
mar School building, Renfrew Village, 
on April 30th, 1853, and a subscription 
list opened. The advantages to the 
agricultural affairs of the county, 
afforded by the establishment of an 
Agricultural Society, were fully dis 
cussed, and 109 promised subscribers 
of 5s. each were obtained. Of these, a 
number failed to pay the required 
sum ; but enough was obtained to 
secure the Government grant. 

At the first regular meeting, the 
name of the " County Agricultural 
Society of the County of Renfrew" 
was adopted, and the following of 
ficers appointed : President, J. L. Mc 
Dougall ; 1st Vice-President, James 
Morris, Jr.; 2nd Vice-President, Rob 
ert Smith ; 3rd Vice-President, Caleb 
S. Bellows ; Secretary, Geo. Ross ; 
Treasurer, John Munro ; Directors, 
Wm. Jamieson, John McNab, Henry 
Airth, Sr., John McRae, Wm. Rich 
ards and David Barr. 

No exhibition was held the first 
year ; but early in 1854 the Society 
began its career of usefulness by pur 
chasing improved varieties of seeds, 
etc. This practice it kept up for a 
number of years, a stumping ma 
chine and hay scales being among the 
more important articles procured for 
the use of the members. 

The first Exhibition was held on the 
grounds opposite the Exchange Hotel, 
in the Village of Renfrew, on the third 
Tuesday of September, 1854. But 37 



premiums were offered for competi 
tion ; yet the Directors, in their re 
port, stated that the Exhibition was 
highly creditable to the County. 

From this time there was a gradual 
growth in the Society, each succeed 
ing year seeing an increase both in 
the number of members, and in the 
interest taken in agricultural affairs. 
Branch Societies were started in many 
of. the Townships Horton, Admas- 
ton, McNab, Westmeath, Ross, Brom 
ley, Wilberforce and Grattan. 
Ploughing Matches were also held, at 
which, for many years, besides the 
prizes awarded by the Society and 
local contributors, fine iron and steel 
ploughs and large sums of money 
were presented by the Hon. James 
Skead and E. McGillivray, of Ottawa, 
and H. McKenzie, of Fort William. 

Mr. Geo. Ross remained as Sec 
retary of the Society till January of 
1862, when Mr Robert McLaren was 
elected Secretary-Treasurer, a post he 
held up to January of 1902. 

When in 1868 the County was 
divided into Ridings, it became neces 
sary under the new Agricultural Act 
that the Society should also be divid 
ed. Accordingly, a meeting was call 
ed for the llth of April, 1868, by J. L. 
McDougall, M.P. P., and the name of 
the Society changed from the " Coun 
ty" to that of the "South Riding 
Agricultural Society of the County of 
Renfrew." This change of name, 
however, made but slight alteration 
in the workings of the Society. 

For many years the annual Exhibi 
tions had been held in Mr X. Plaunt s 
field near the Town Hall, the latter 
building being appropriated to the 
ladies. But by 1872, the Society had 
grown to such dimensions that the 
Hall was found to be totally inade 
quate for displaying the articles sent 
in for exhibition. In 1873, a Commit 
tee was appointed to communicate 
with different persons with a view to 
purchasing a site for exhibition build 
ings. They reported the following as 
the result : From Mr X. Plaunt, a 
piece of land near the Railway Station 

at $200 per village lot, or about $800 
per acre ; from Sir Francis Hincks, a 
lot near the Catholic cemetery at $400 
per acre ; from Mr S. Coumbes, the 
lot on the east side of his residence at 
$125 per acre. Mr Coumbes offer was 
accepted, and a little over five and a 
half acres were purchased. The style 
and character of the new Exhibition 
buildings was next considered, and 
Mr J. Barnard, at that time President 
of the Society, was deputed to pre 
pare plans and specifications. This he 
did, assisted by Messrs Burns and 
Sharp, and their specifications having 
been adopted, tenders were advertised 
for. Four parties tendered ; and Mr 
Donald Frood s tender of $3,695, be 
ing the lowest, was accepted. The 
Directors reported that though this 
amount at first sight seemed large, 
they were of opinion that it would be 
an error and a waste of money to have 
erected only temporary buildings, 
which would require replacing in a 
few years. The following description 
of the buildings is taken from the 
Renfrew Mercury of October 2nd, 
1874 :- 

The Show Grounds, which are five and 
a half acres in extent, are situated just 
south of Mr S. Coumbes house, and ex 
tend from the road in front to the Mill 
Creek in the rear. They are bounded on 
the south-east side by a shed 480 feet long, 
divided into 66 sheep and pig-pens. At 
the end of this shed there are also 26 fowl- 
coops. On the north-west side, there is 
another range, 440 feet long, of sheds, 
containing 30 horse-stalls, and 40 cattle- 

The Agricultural Hall, which occupies 
the centre of the grounds, is in the form 
of a Greek cross there being a central 
block of 130 feet square, two storeys high 
with four wings of the same dimensions, 
but only one storey high. The length of 
the building across, in either direction, is 
consequently 90 feet. The centre block is 
surmounted by a cupola. The lower 
storey of this central Hall is eleven feet in 
the clear, and the upper storey is of the 
same height. The four wings have walls 
eight feet high, and no upper floor. The 
lower floor throughout is not boarded, 
but is composed of gravel covered with a 
layer of tan-bark. 

Between the Hall, and the Mill Creek, 
there is a ring for the exhibition of horses 
and cattle. It is 200 feet in diameter, 
and is enclosed with a board fence four 
feet high. 

The different modes contemplated 
at the outset for raising the requisite 



funds for completing the Show 
Grounds were by application to the 
adjacent townships for municipal 
grants, (but none of them responded 
favorably) ; by voluntary subscrip 
tions (by which over $400 was raised) ; 
and by charging an admission fee for 
entrance to the grounds. 

It was soon found that these plans 
would not raise the money fast 
enough ; and some fourteen persons, 
all the Directors and two or three 
outsiders, advanced the money re 
quired to pay off the Contractor, in 
instalments, at 8 per cent.; securing 
themselves by a mortgage on the 
buildings. The rate of interest they 
afterwards voluntarily reduced to 5 
per cent. 

In 1877, as money was not forth 
coming quickly enough to pay the in 
terest on the amount advanced by the 
Directors, the means of meeting the 
deficiency were fully discussed ; and 
to aid the Society, the Rev. R. Camp 
bell made the following suggestions : 

That a Stock Book be opened, and 
shares of, say, $20 each be sold ; the 
Society to guarantee 5 per cent, per 
annum interest. Thereby getting a great 
er number of. persons interested in the 
success of the Society. Also, that Public 
Meetings, addressed by the leading speak 
ers of the day, be held, and the public 
charged a reasonable admission fee. 

These suggestions found favour with 
the Directors, and a Committee was 
appointed to canvass for shareholders. 
A little over $1,000 was collected in 
this manner. 

But even then it was found that the 
Society could not under ordinary cir 
cumstances, pay its principal debt. 
The matter was debated for some 
time ; and in 1892, as some of those 
who had advanced money expressed 
themselves that they had never ex 
pected to make anything out of the 
investment, and were quite willing to 
relieve the directorate, by donating 
all or part of what they had advanced, 
Mr David Barr took the initiative in 
approaching all these parties, and as 
a result, Messrs A. A. Wright, Geo. 
B. Cardiff, Robt. Carswell, Joshua 
Murphy, Robt. Leitch, Sr., Dr. Mann, 

Noble Dean, Rev. R. Campbell, Jas. 
Ward, Peter Dougall, Wm. Airth, T. 

B. Muir and Jas. McLachlan were 
created life members, having donated 
$20 or more to the relief of the debt ; 
while Donald Stewart, Jr., Allan Mc- 
Nab, Duncan Mclntyre, John Mc- 
Guire, Jas. Fraser, Jas. Lindsay, 
Duncan Stewart, Alex. Miller, Jas. 
Gibbons (Admaston), E. Mayhew, Jos. 
Flaunt, Jas. Clark, Adam Lindsay, 
Donald Stewart (Customs) and Mrs 
Mackie Barr were made members for 
one year, having donated $10.00 or 
more ; and .Messrs J. D. McDonald, J. 

C. Hyett, J. & J. D. McNicol, J. C. 
Wright, J. H. Walford, W. Frood, 
Thos. Hynes, M. McDermid, Mrs 
Inglis, and Mrs Geo. Ross, having 
donated all they subscribed, were 
returned thanks. 

This move relieved the financial 
tension, wiping out between principal 
and interest, over $1,000 : and since 
then the directors have been able to 
keep up their payments of interest on 
the balance, promptly, and have re 
duced the principal indebtedness to a 
little over $100. In 1893, in order to 
give a better ring for speeding horses, 
about two acres extra of land to the 
east were purchased from the late 
William Airth. Further improve 
ments to the grounds and buildings 
have been made from time to time. 
For a few years it seemed as if the 
South Renfrew Fair, in common with 
many other district fairs, wsa doom 
ed to be crowded out by the larger 
exhibitions of the cities ; but that dan 
ger now seems gone by. Readjustment 
to changing conditions seems to be all 
that is necessary to prolong the exist 
ence of the institution ; and now that 
the indebtedness is about wiped out, 
the enlargement or changing of the 
grounds, and the erection of better 
buildings, is being discussed by the 

As noted above, during the forty- 
nine years of the Society s existence 
there were only two secretaries : Mr 
George Ross from April 1853 to Jan. 
1862; and Mr Robert McLaren from 



that time until Jan. 1902, when he 
voluntarily retired, and his place was 
tilled by the election of Mr Orange 
Wright. Much of the success of the 
Society has been due to the courtesy 
of Mr McLaren during his forty years 
of public service, and to the confidence 
of the people in his fairness and integ 

The Presidents have been more 
numerous ; but still, owing to one or 
two long terms, not large in number. 
Mr J. L. McDougall was President 
from 1853 to 1856 ; then Henry Airth, 
sr., for one year ; Archibald Patterson 
for two years ; John McNab for one 
year ; Wm. Jamieson for one year ; 
Alex Stewart for two years ; John 

Gibbons, one year ; Jas Thomson, one 
year ; David Airth, one year ; J. L. 
McDougall, five years ; Henry Airth, 
two years ; John Barnard, one year ; 
Alex Barnet, three years ; Wm. Ban- 
nerman, Peter D.ilglish, Jas. Oarswell, 
Geo. B. Cardiff, each one year; then 
Jas. Carswell for thirteen years ; 
Gregor Mclntyre for two years ; and 
then Jas. Carswell again for seven 
years more : he still holding the posi 
tion, esteemed for his many gifts and 
services to the institution, and for the 
hearty geniality of his disposition, 
which has such an influence in retain 
ing the confidence and sympathy of 
the people for the South Renfrew 
Argicultural Society. 




The Masons, as is well-known, are a 
peculiar folk. Most other societies 
come before the public more or less 
prominently, and with some particular 
object in doing so ; but the Masons ap 
pear to keep their affairs to them 
selves as a family, neverseekin;> for re 
cruits from the outside world, accept 
ing only those who voluntarily offer, 
and not all of them. As to whether 
there be any truth in the old stories 
of their practising the "black art," 
having visits from "Auld Cloutie" 
during Lodge meetings, or treating 
their novices to rides on goats, the 
profane are in profound ignorance. 
There is therefore little known, be 
yond the pale, of the history of Ren 
frew Lodge, No. 122, the name of 
which has appeared for some years on 
a window over M air s "China Hall" 
on Raglan street. However, next to 
the Sons of Temperance, it is the 
oldest fraternal organization in Ren 
frew, and, from Mr Wm. Hay, who 
has been making some researches, we 
have gleaned the following : 

The Lodge was first opened 19th 
December, 1859, under authority from 
the then Grand Master, Judge Wil 
son, of the Queen s Bench. The 
Lodge Room was in the upper part of 
Munro s Hotel, now The Exchange. 
The charter members were : 

A. H. Dowswell, J.P., Burnstown. 

John Munro, Hotel keeper, Ren 

Collar M. Church, M.D., Arnprior. 

Archibald Patterson, Postmaster, 
Ad mas ton. 

John Paris, Millowner, White Lake. 

Matthew Patterson, M.D., Douglas. 

Alexander Moore, Millowner, Ad- 

Andrew Bell, C.E., Douglas, now of 

William Morris, Lumber Merchant, 
Greenlaw, McNab. 

Peter Maclntyre, Farmer, Horton. 

George McDonald, White Lake. 

Of these, the only one now living is 
Mr Bell, residing in Almonte, and a 
member of the firm of Bell & Craw 
ford, Engineers and Land Surveyors, 

The Lodge continued to meet and 
increase in numbers in the same place 
until Sept., 1866, when it was removed 
to the old Temperance Hall, thence in 
October, 1872, to Muir s Hall, and in 
September, 1894, to the present com 
modious apartments in the Barnet 
Block, corner of Raglan and Prince 

Whether the Renfrew Masonic 
Lodge has had the ups and downs 
common to most other organizations 
we do not know. It is only in evidence 
to the public on occasions of funerals 
of deceased members, and their annual 
attendance in a body at Divine ser 
vice or occasionally, after their 
labours in the Lodge, i-egaling them 
selves at Brother Stitt s but judg 
ing from appearances, the institution 
has prospered. It numbers among its 
members many of our most respected 
townsmen, with several from the sur 
rounding country. What the Masons 
do in the line of benevolence, either 
towards individuals or as grants to 
charitable institutions, is not known 
to the public, but we are of course 
aware that this Lodge furnished a 
ward in our Hospital, and it also 
regularly contributes to the "Sick 
Children s Hospital" in Toronto. 




Robert Rule Wilson held sway over 
the youthful minds of the Renfrew 
portion of Horton township in 1850 
and for the next two or three years, 
and his successors were one Smith, 
who was a very strict disciplinarian, 
and two or three times came to clash 
ing with the trustees; Thomas Boland, 
who had come direct from Ireland; 
and Archibald McGregor, a Beckwith 
man ; the first two serving only brief 
periods. In 1858, when Renfrew was 
erected into a separate Village Muni 
cipality, the School Board was re-or 
ganized as well. The first nomination 
of Common School trustees was held 
in the school-house that little log 
building still standing in rear of Mr 
Stafford s dwelling on Flaunt Street, 
at the call of Mr Geo. Ross as re 
turning officer, on Thursday, 13th of 
January, 1859. The trustees chosen 
were John Burns, Dr. David Evans, 
John McRae, Samuel Francis, Joseph 
Gravelle and Robert C. Mills. By 
ballot, the first two were chosen for 
three years, the third and fourth for 
two years, and the last two for one 
year. At this same meeting it was 
moved by William Dickson, seconded 
by John McAndrew, and resolved, that 
the Board of Trustees now elected 
meet with the Grammar School Trus 
tees at as early a date as possible in 
order to adopt measures to form a 
union between the Common and 
Grammar Schools and to co-coperate 
with the Board ot Grammar School 
Trustees in obtaining a qualified 
Grammar School teacher. 

The new Board of Common School 
Trustees did not meet until March 
18th, when Mr Burns was chosen 

Chairman, and Mr Geo. Ross, Secre 
tary. Mr Gravelle, having accepted 
office as one of the Trustees of the 
Separate School, vacated his seat as a 
member of the Common School 
Board, and a week later Mr William 
Dickson was elected to fill the va 
cancy. At the next meeting, a rate 
of Is. and 3d. per month was fixed to 
be charged on all resident children, 
and Is. lO^d. per month on all non 
resident children. 

On the 9th of April, 1859, a union 
meeting of the Grammar School Trus 
tees of the County and the 
Board of Common School Trus 
tees of the Village was held in the 
Town Hall. There were present, of 
the Grammar School Board ; Rev. 
Michael Bryne, Rev. S. C. Fraser, Dr. 
Geo. Smith, John Munro and Geo. 
Ross. And of the Common School 
Board, Messrs Burns, Evans, Mills, 
McRae and Dickson. Father Bryne 
was called to the chair. The pro 
priety of a union of the Boards was dis 
cussed. It was unanimously approved; 
and a committee, consisting of Messrs 
Burns, Smith, Ross, Evans, Byrne 
and Dickson, was appointed to have 
the necessary documents governing 
the union drawn up and signed, and 
the secretary, Mr Geo. Ross, was in 
structed to advertise for a Grammar 
School teacher : salary not to exceed 
150. The "necessary document" of 
union as evolved comprised seven 
somewhat closely written pages enu 
merating 14 Articles. The preamble 
set forth that the union was desir 
able "in order to secure a beneficent 
and effective system of education for 
the general advantage of the inhabit- 



ants of the Village." The Articles 
provided that the union school-should 
he known as "The Renfrew Puhlic 
School." The design of the school 
was set forth in Article 3 to be " to 
afford a course of instruction begin 
ning with the alphabet and embracing 
the English, French, Latin and Greek 
languages, writing, arithmetic, algebra, 
geometry, trigonometry, surveying, 
history and geography, book-keeping 
and the elements of natural and moral 
philosophy, elocution, rhetoric and 
logic and such other branches as the 
Trustees thereof shall deem proper to 
introduce." The Principal was to get 
not more than 200 a year. Provision 
was made for the gratuitous instruc 
tion of not more than ten poor pupils. 
The Articles of agreement were sign 
ed by Michael Byrne, Geo. Ross, Geq. 
Smith, Archibald Patterson and John 
Munro of the Grammar School Trus 
tees, and John Burns, Samuel Francis, 
William Dickson, D. Evans, John Mc- 
Rae and R. C. Mills of the Common 
School Board. 

At a meeting on the 29th April, 
William Dickson was elected Chair 
man of the joint Board. The ap 
plicants for the position of first 
master of the Grammar School under 
the new conditions were : J. L. Mc- 
Dougall, Jr., of Toronto, Thomas 
Rome, of Smith s Falls, and Finlay 
McNab, of Kingston. After consider 
able debate on the merits of the 
candidates, on motion of Messrs Pat 
terson and Francis, Finlay McNab 
was elected at a salary of 150, to 
commence teaching on the first of 
June. Rev. Geo. Thomson was nom 
inated as Local Superintendent of 
Schools, but he declined to accept ; 
and Rev. W. W. Lochead (the Free 
Church minister) was thereupon ap 
pointed ; and Mr McGregor s services 
as Common School teacher were re 
tained at a salary of 5 per month. 

The Grammar School building did 
not long remain in use for Grammar 
School purposes. On the 27th 
August, a meeting of the ratepayers 
was held to consider the procuring of 

or erection of suitable buildings. Mr 
Cockburn, the Superintendent of 
Grammar Schools for Upper Canada, 
was present and condemned the 
building then occupied. A mo 
tion was passed and afterwards 
ratified by the Trustees, renting from 
Mr Geo. Ross the lower flat of what 
was then and is yet known as the 
Town Hall, for three years, at $50 a 
year. Fifteen cords of hardwood and 
five cords of pine were procured for 
the winter s supply, early in Decem 
ber, from Mr Frood at 6s 5d per cord 
for hardwood and 5s. for pine : a 
striking difference to the prices paid 
to-day. Mr McGregor was retained 
as teacher of the Common School for 
1860, at 65, and Mr McNab at 150. 

And at this early stage the local 
economists in school affairs appeared 
on the scene. At the annual meeting 
of ratepayers the minute says : 
"After considerable discussion had 
been entered into regarding the heavy 
and seemingly unnecessary expendi 
ture incurred by the Board in the past 
year, as exhibited by the School 
Report, it was resolved that the Re 
port be adopted, and that the pro 
priety of a less expenditure in con 
ducting the affairs of the school be 
respectfully brought before the notice 
of the Board of School Trustees." 

Henry Groves and Abraham Fraser 
were then elected as trustees for three 
years in place of William Dickson and 
R. C; Mills, whose term had expired ; 
and John Smith, Reeve, was elected 
to take the place of John McRae, 
who resigned. The united Board of 
1860 organized with Rev. Geo. 
Thomson as Chairman and Mr Ross 
as Secretary-Treasurer, and a Com 
mittee was appointed to call on Messrs 
McDougall and Sinclair to ascertain 
whether a suitable site could be 
procured for school purposes. Ap 
parently, the Board had hard 
or busy times in financing : 
there were frequent demands on 
the Council s Treasurer and for collec 
tions from ratepayers : Messrs Torney 
and Faichney being engaged at differ- 



ent times to collect back dues on a 
percentage : and in July of I860, a 
committee was appointed to confer 
with Mr McNab to see on what terms 
he would be prepared to carry on the 
school providing himself and an 
assistant, and maintaining the school 
at its then efficiency. Negotiations 
were apparently proceeding satisfac 
torily, but in October Mr McNab 
asked the Board to accept his resigna 
tion. This was done with expressions 
of regret. Mr McNab, under the 
terms of his agreement, provided a 
substitute, and this substitute was 
Joshua Fraser. In November, the 
Board appointed a committee to call 
on Mr Fraser and offer him re-engage 
ment at 125 a year and 25 or 30 
a year more if he provided an assis 
tant : the holidays to comprise only 
two weeks in summer, two weeks at 
New Year, and the Stiturday of each 
week. Apparently there had been 
some doubt about the membership of 
the Grammar School Board, for Coun 
ty Clerk W. R. F. Burford was writ 
ten to, and answered that the mem 
bers were Rev. Messrs Bryne, S. C. 
Fraser, Almeros and Thomson, and 
Messrs William Halpenny and Archi 
bald Thomson. Apparently that 
year, as in the year before and as in 
pretty nearly every year since, the 
conduct of the schools and their finan 
cial management came in for con 
siderable comment and criticism, and 
regret was expressed at the small at 
tendance of the electors at the annual 
meeting while so many made com 
plaints ; and "It was moved by Mr 
Fortunitus Hughes, seconded by Mr 
Simard, and resolved, that the Secre 
tary is hereby instructed to communi 
cate with the County Council express 
ing the regret of the meeting at the 
course pursued by the County Coun 
cil in appointing during the past year 
several parties as Grammar School 
Trustees for this section who were 
wholly unfit for such duties, who were 
distasteful to the people and contrary 
to the express wishes both of the peo 
ple and the Board of Trustees, and al 

so appointing more trustees than the 
law required, thereby causing 
confusion in the Board of 
Trustees." William Jamieson, Reeve 
of Horton Township, was also criticiz 
ed for having had anything to do 
with the County Council appoint 
ments, and the Board were advised to 
see if the services of a boy could be 
procured to sweep the schools and 
light the fires free, in return for 
his tuition, instead of paying 3 
per annum, which was then being paid 
and which was considered too high. 

There may be those alive still who 
will remember what the trouble was 
all about, and who were the members 
the resolution was hitting at, as unfit 
and unpopular. It calls to mind 
stories of stirring times, and bitter 
personal antagonisms which rather 
clouded the peace of the community 
in those early days, but which mostly 
softened with the lapse of years. 

At the election of Common School 
trustees for 1861, John Smith and 
Samuel Francis were re-nominated 
and declared elected, but Mr. Francis 
having declined to act, Mr. Orange 
Wright was elected in his stead. Rev. 
Mr. Thomson and Mr. Geo Ross were 
re-elected chairman and secretary 
respectively. At a meeting in March, 
Rev. Mr. Fraser moved and Mr. J. L. 
McDougall seconded a resolution noti 
fying the teachers to introduce into 
theSeminary, "Sangster s Arithmetic" 
in dollars and cents, on or before the 
1st of May. Mr. Fraser, by the 
terms under which he had been 
engaged, had procured a teacher for 
the common school, and this teacher 
was Donald Stewart, son of one of the 
pioneers, and many years thereafter 
a teacher in Renfrew, for many years 
also Customs officer, and deceased in 
1901. On Mr. Fraser s retirement 
in September, 1861, Mr. Stewart was 
appointed Principal of both the Gram 
mar School and Common School for a 
time. Mr Ben. Freer was the choice of 
the trustees as the successor of Mr 
Fraser, and Mr. Stewart was re-engag- 


ed at an increased salary as principal 
of the Common School. 

At the annual ratepayers meet 
ing of 1862 all seems to have 
been peaceful, John Burns being re- 
elected trustee, and Jos. Gravelle 
elected in place of Dr. Evans. Rev. 
Geo. Thomson and Geo. Ross were 
re-elected chairman and secretary. In 
April, rates of tuition were fixed at 
the same scale for both residents and 
non-residents Is. 3d. per month for 
Common School, and 2s. 6d. per month 
for Grammar School. In October, Mi- 
Donald Stewart was compelled by ill 
health to resign his position. Miss 
Hodson was asked to accept the position 
but refused, and Mr Duncan Stewart 
agreed to fill it till the end of the year. 
There was serious debate whether the 
Grammar School should be continued 
or not, but it was decided to keep it in 
existence at least another year. Mr. 
Freer was re-engaged as teacher, and 
Mr. John Park was engaged as teacher 
of the common school for 1863 at a 
salary of 60 a year. 

At the Trustee election of 1863, 
Samuel Francis, Patrick Kelly, Geo. 
Ross, John McAndrew, John O Harro, 
Wm. Mackay, David Airth, and Mr 
Mackay, Jr., were nominated. A 
poll was demanded on behalf of 
Patrick Kelly, and Messrs McAndrew 
and Wm. Mackay were elected. On 
the Grammar School Board that year, 
Henry Bellerby and John Paris seem 
ed to be the new members. Rev. 
Geo. Thomson retired from the chair 
manship ; Rev. Mr Lochead was chos 
en as his successor ; Mr Bellerby was 
appointed secretary and A. Fraser 
was appointed treasurer, the last two 
at a salary of eight dollars each. 
This seems to have been a matter of 
contest : for at the next meeting, on 
March 19th, Messrs Paris and Hal- 
penny moved that the resolutions pass 
ed at the last session, making these 
two appointments, be struck out of 
the minutes. The chairman ruled 
this motion out of order. Messrs A. 
Thomson and J. Smith thereupon 

moved the confirmation of the 
minutes, when Messrs Paris, Gravelle, 
Halpenny, McAndrew and Burns 
left the meeting : leaving only six 
members, not a quorum. And to com 
plete the mix-up, Rev. Mr Lochead at 
once resigned the chairmanship and 
his position as one of the Grammar 
School trustees. It would seem that 
it was the matter of salary which 
caused all this heat : for at the next 
gathering, after Mr J. L. McDougall 
had been elected chairman, a motion 
by Messrs Smith and Thomson that 
the motion making the appointments 
of secretary and treasurer should be 
rescinded so far as it related to their 
salaries, was carried unanimously. 
Rev. Silas Huntingdon was appointed 
Local Superintendent of the village 
schools for the year. At the June 
meeting, Twelve Dollars was voted, 
to be expended in prize books for the 
union schools. Mr Freer was re 
engaged as grammar school teacher 
for 1864 at 125 and Mr Park as Com 
mon School teacher at 75. And at 
the end of the year, after all, the sec 
retary and treasurer were paid their 
salary as originally voted. 

At the annual ratepayers meeting 
in January, 1864, Messrs John Smith 
and Abraham Fraser were re-elected 
trustees, and a motion was passed sug 
gesting to the Board the propriety of 
appointing two of its members as 
School Visitors, and "that these be 
required to visit the schools not less 
than twice in each month for the pur 
pose of seeing that due attention is paid 
to the proper instruction of the pupils 
and that due care is taken of the 
books, maps, school apparatus and 
furniture." At the next meeting of the 
Board, after discussion of this resolu 
tion, Rev. Geo. Thomson and Mr. J. 
L. McDougall undertook to make an 
inspection of the schools and to report 
to the Board the result. Mr. Felix 
Devine was this year appointed one of 
the Grammar School trustees ; and at 
the meeting in February, J.L. McDou 
gall was appointed chairman ; John 


Burns, secretary ; Wni. Mackay, 
treasurer ; and Silas Huntingdon, local 

At the meeting in May, it was de 
cided to reduce the Grammar School 
fees to Is. 3d. again : in order to get 
the average attendance up over ten, 
that the Government grant for the 
half year might be obtained. 

For 1865, Messrs Freer and Park 
were re-engaged, and Rev. Wm. 
Creighton was appointed local super 
intendent in place of Rev. Silas Hunt 
ingdon, removed ; and the old school 
building was rented to the Wesleyan 
Methodists for a place of worship for 
one year at 4. 

At the annual school meeting of 
1865, John O Harro and Robert Mc 
Laren were elected trustees. Rev. 
Geo. Thomson was elected chairman ; 
and John Burns and Wm. Mackay 
were re-elected secretary and treasur 
er. There was some lively discussion 
during the year over the re-engage 
ment of the teachers, but in the end 
Messrs Freer and Park were re-en 

At the annual election of 1866, 
Robert Drysdale and James Ward 
were elected trustees, and Peter 
Dougall was appointed a Grammar 
School trustee by the County Coun 
cil. Rev. Mr Thomson was re-elected 
chairman, and the offices of secretary 
and treasurer were combined in John 
Burns at a salary of $16 a year. A 
resolution was passed, on motion of 
Messrs Smith and Devine, that Dr. 
Freer visit the schools once a month 
and see that the children were free 
from skin disease. In March, Alex. 
Jamieson was elected a Common 
School trustee in place of John Smith, 
resigned, he being also a Grammar 
School trustee. A bill rendered at 
the next meeting by Dr. Evans show 
ed that the visitation of the school by 
a Doctor was not an innovation of 
66 ; for Dr. Evans bill was for such 
services in 1862, 1863 and 1865 : six 
visits in all, $6. Rev. Thos. Walker 
was appointed local superintendent in 
October i-n place of Rev. Mr Creigh 

ton, removed. Messrs Freer and 
Park were re-engaged for 1867 at 
salaries of $500 and $300 respectively. 

At the annual school-meeting in 
1867, Alex. Jamieson and Jas. Gibbons 
were elected trustees. The chairman 
and secretary were re-appointed. 
Messrs Freer and Park were re 
engaged for 1868 at $555 and $300. 

At the annual election of 1868, John 
O Harro and James Bromley were 
elected trustees, and Sinon O Gorman 
was elected in place of Jas. Gibbons, 
resigned. Chairman Thomson and 
secretary-treasurer Burns were re- 
elected. At a meeting in June, cir 
culars were read from the trustees of 
Colborne and Caledonia disapproving 
of that part of the Grammar School 
Act prohibiting girls from being 
classed as Grammar School scholars : 
but it is not noted that the Renfrew 
Board joined in the protest. 

As the close of 1868 approached, 
there was considerable debate about 
the teaching statf, and as a result, at 
a meeting in September, it was de 
cided on a motion brought in by 
Messrs John Smith and Jas. Ward, 
that a change of masters would be 
beneficial, and the Secretary was in 
structed to notify Messrs Freer and 
Park that their services would not be 
required after the termination of the 
year. And this was the beginning of 
a few months of trouble for the 
trustees. An advertisement for new 
teachers was inserted in the Globe 
and Carleton Place Herald. After 
the receipt of applications, the Board 
met once, did nothing, and adjourned. 
Then it met again ; when Messrs Jas. 
Bromley and Felix Devine moved 
that Mr Freer be re-engaged as 
Grammar School teacher at a salary 
of $550. In amendment, John Smith 
and Alexander Jamieson moved that 
agreeable to the resolution of last 
session, the application of Mr Freer 
be laid to one side, and that the 
Board then proceed to select a 
teacher from among the other ap 
plicants. The amendment was m de 
feated, and thereupon Messrs Smith, 



Dougall, Jamieson and O Harro left 
the meeting. There was not a 
quorum left. Then a special meeting 
was called to choose a common school 
teacher: hut there was no quorum: 
the chairman, Rev. Mr Thomson, and 
Messrs Bromley, Drysdale and Burns 
being the only members to file an 
appearance. The next effort was 
more successful. There was a 
quorum. But no chairman. For the 
pro tern chairmanship even, there was 
a contest ; Messrs Bromley and 
O Gorman nominating Mr Ward ; and 
Messrs O Harro and Jamieson in 
amendment proposing Mr Devine. 
As Mr Ward was on the same side 
as Messrs O Harro and Jamieson, it 
looks at this far-off period as if Mi- 
Ward s opponents were seeking to 
shelve him for the evening, and his 
friends were seeking to keep him on 
the "floor of the house." However, 
the opponents won ; and Mr Ward 
was placed in the chair. Then a 
resolution of Messrs Bromley and 
O Gorman that the minutes appoint 
ing Mr Freer be confirmed was oppos 
ed by an amendment offered by 
Messrs O Harro and Jamieson that 
the confirming of the minutes be left 
over till the next meeting. The 
amendment was lost, and the main 
motion carried. Then the resigna 
tion by Rev. Mr Thomson of the 
chairmanship was considered, and he 
was by resolution requested to con 
tinue to act till the annual meeting. 
The applications for the engagement 
of the common school mastership 
were taken up. There were four : 
from N. McLenaghan, Donald Stew 
art, John Park and J. W. Costello. 
A motion to employ Mr McLenaghan 
at a salary of $360 was carried. A 
motion that in case of his non- 
acceptance, Mr Donald Stewart be 
appointed was lost. A motion that in 
case of his non-acceptance, Mr Cos 
tello be appointed was also lost. Ap 
parently Mr McLenaghan did not 
accept, for on the 5th of January, 
1869, a meeting was called to " hire a 
common school teacher." Messrs 

Smith, Gorman, O Harro, Ward, 
Jamieson, Bromley and Drysdale 
were present ; but the minutes note 
that " when in the act of going into 
business a party left, which left us 
without a quorum." Another effort 
to agree was made at a special meet 
ing on the llth January, when in 
addition to those at the last meeting 
Messrs Devine, Dougall and Burns 
were also present. After Mr Ward 
had been again placed in the chair, it 
was moved by Messrs J. Smith and A. 
Jamieson that " in the opinion of the 
Board the meeting in December, 1868, 
was not properly called and the 
minutes of the meeting of 14th of 
November were not correct, but as 
Mr Freer had given up all claims 
against the Board, and no trouble was 
therefore likely to arise, therefore to 
facilitate business, the chairman be 
authorized to sign the minutes." To 
this, Messrs Bromley and Devine 
offered an amendment that Mr Freer 
be "released from all obligation to 
teach our school." The amendment 
was defeated : Messrs O Gorman, 
Devine, Bromley and Burns voting 
for it : and all the rest against. The 
motion was carried on the same 
division reversed. This settled, Mr 
Alex. Jamieson was elected chairman, 
Rev. Mr Thomson having adhered to 
his resolution to resign. And then a 
tussle began again over the selection 
of the common school teacher. 
Messrs Devine and Bromley moved 
the selection of Mr J. W. Costello. 
This was lost. Then Messrs Ward 
and O Harro moved that Mr Donald 
Stewart be engaged at a salary of 
$250 ; and Messrs Bromley and 
Drysdale moved that Mr W. E. 
Graham be appointed. The resolu 
tion to appoint Mr Stewart carried. 
At this meeting also, it was decided 
to abolish all fees in the common 
school, and make it free for the year 

At the annual election of 1869, John 
Churchill and Robert Drysdale were 
elected common school trustees ; and 
on motion of Messrs S. O Gorman and 



Duuucan Mclntyre, the action of the 
Board in making the school free to 
residents of the village for 1869 was 
ratified. The County Council in Feb 
ruary appointed Mr John McAndrew 
to take Rev Geo. Thomson s place 
on the Grammar School Board. Mr 
William Halpenny was elected chair- 
ruan of the United Board ; and John 
Burns, secretary-treasurer. Out of the 
applications received for the position 
of headmaster of the Grammar School, 
the secretary was instructed to wire 
Joseph Morrison, Adrian Zimmerman 
and James Christie offering them, in 
that order of preference, $600 a year 
to take the position. And on motion 
of Messrs Smith and O Gorman, Miss 

Bridget Tyne was chosen as assistant 
in the common school at 40 for the 
year 1869. This engagement was 
short-lived, however; for in August, 
Miss Tyne, having become Mrs J. 
Moore, asked to be released. The 
Board agreed, and offered the vacant 
position to Miss Ruth A. Wright, at 
$130 per annum. Rev. Paul Kongier, 
was that year appointed local super 
intendent of the village schools. Mr 
Morrison, after a year as headmaster 
of the Grammar School, resigned that 
position ; and Mr J. W. Conner was 
chosen in his stead. Mr Stewart and 
Miss Wright were re-engaged, each at 
an increase of salary, for 1870. 




Minister of St. Andrew s Congregation, Renfrew, for 
27 years, Moderator of the Presbyterian Gen 
eral Assembly in 1899, and author of a 
portion of this Story of Renfrew. 




Rev. Robert Campbell, author of 
many of the kindly biographies in this 
Story of Renfrew, was born in 1846 in 
the city of Montreal; at twelve years 
of age was living in Brockville, and 
received most of his early education in 
Brockville Public School, then under 
the care of Rev. J. H. Johnston, a 
Methodist minister, who, finding a 
student of promise, urged the parents 
that Robert be encouraged to enter 
university. At fifteen the lad left 
school, and began life as an apprentice 
in the Grand Trunk workshops in 
Brockville. There was business de 
pression shortly afterwards, and many 
apprentices were laid off. Robert was 
among these, and for three years he 
turned his attention to clerking, mean 
time continuing his classical studies. 
He then entered Queen s University, 
and received his degree of B.A. in 
1867. He continued in college, taking 
the theological course, receiving his 
M.A. in 1870. After a year s postgrad 
uate course in Edinburgh University 
he won first place in Philosophy, re 
ceiving the medal and the Bruce of 
Grange Hall scholarship, as well as 
the offer of a parish in Scotland and 
a military chaplaincy in Ceylon. He 
however returned to Canada; and ac 
cepted the call of St. Andrew s Pres 
byterian congregation, Renfrew, in 
1871. For over twenty-seven years he 
remained the minister, building up a 
strong congregation, one which 
achieved the distinction of being the 

best missionary-giving congregation 
in the Dominion. Under his inspira 
tion the men of the congregation had 
much to do with making Renfrew a 
solid and progressive town. In 1884 
he received from Queen s University 
its first degree of Doctor of Science, 
not an honorary degree but won 
by scholarship. He was lecturer in 
several universities for many years on 
Philosophy, Political Economy, and 
Theology. In 1899 he was chosen 
Moderator of the General Assembly of 
the Presbyterian Church in Canada; 
and in the same year was chosen 
Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge, 
A.F. & A.M. Thereafter he was chosen 
to take up the work of the collection 
of the Presbyterian Church s "Cen 
tury Fund," and *he same financial 
ability that had made him the recog 
nized finance minister of the Presby 
tery of Lanark and Renfrew, brought 
to bear in the larger field, resulted in 
the collection of $1,500,000 in so effi 
cient and economical a manner as has 
probably never been equalled in the 
raising of the same amount of money. 
But it was at the cost of much bodily 
and mental toil for three or four 
years. Then came a stroke of paraly 
sis; and though its most serious effect 
passed away, there was the warning 
that his energies must not be so taxed. 
The evening of his days was spent in 
occasional preaching and in literary 
labors, including his portion of this 
Story of Renfrew. 



The Narrative Continued from Documents, Interviews 

of the Older Inhabitants, and Personal Remembrances, 

by Rev. Dr. Campbell. 

In resuming the "Story of Ren 
frew," after the lapse of some years, 
a few sentences by way of preface 
may not be out of place. In those 
years, as we are sadly reminded, the 
pioneers who were then with us have 
passed rapidly away, not more than 
one or two being still to the fore. 
Those who came later have not the 
vivid recollections of incidents and 
events such as were seared on the 
memories of che earlier settlers by the 
hardships through which they passed. 
Thus, there are many incidents which 
would make interesting raad ; ng which 
are dream-like to these later comers 
and therefore cannot be recorded with 
any accuracy, after the lapse of fifty 
years or more. To add to the diffi 
culty, there is a period from 1850 on 
ward for which there are no docu 
mentary records of much value, out 
side of those which, in a few instances 
have been very fully collated by the for 
mer narrator. Being thus condemned 
to make bricks without straw, what 
coxild one do except to follow the ex. 
ample of all good preachers, whose 
custom it is to return to the same sub 
jects and to enforce them still further 
by bringing forth from the treasury 
things "new and old." Twice-told 
tales are sometimes welcomed though 
there may be but slight variation in 
the re-telling. Yet it may be neces 
sary to keep in mind the long-time 
protest of our good Scotch friends 
against the habit preachers, be thay 

good or bad, have of resorting to the 
"barrel," and of shamelessly dishing 
out "cauld kail het again," which it 
has been maintained they will do, 
and strive to do very slyly, on the 
slightest possible excuse. At the risk, 
then, of having it darkl}* whispered, 
"Aye, he s at his auld tricks again," 
the present writer gives notice that 
he ma} 7 be expected tc pick up a 
sheaf wherever he may find it and 
not be careful to reap only where he 
has strawed. 

Further, the new narrator rejoices 
in the well-known prejudice whicli 
exists against being bound down to 
accurac3 7 in setting dates. How we 
all hated them in our school days! 
They never seemed to us to "adorn a 
tale." We harboured suspicions that 
thty were a diabolical invention 
whicli some conclave of hard-hearted 
schoolmasters (schoolmistresses could 
have had no complicity in such 
malice), had introduced with express 
purpose of saddening school-boy life, 
and of furnishing daily and unfailing 
excuse for wielding "the birch." 
Shall we, then, who have escaped the 
thraldom of day an.l date, with all its 
consequent phj sical soreness and men 
tal pain, demand tha* we shall have 
reminders of a detested past thrust on 
u.s at every turn? Surely not ; and, 
to establish a good intent at the out 
set, all our readers may be assured 
that though the "Story" may men 
tion dates, it will be erratic and hazy 



enough in the use of them to satisfy 
any schoolboy. If any should say : 
"aye, it ll likely be because ye canna 
dae better," we just admit that there 
is a great deal in that. Neither the 
writer nor any of his informants can 
eaimark every incident and event 
with an exact date, and we won t 
profess to do that. 

It is to be feared, also, that the 
"Story" mav be somewhat dry or 
even "unco dreich," as the Scotch 
say of many sermons. Of necessity 
that must be very much the case, for 
much that might make it lively would 
be likely to make it too lively and 
cause a terrible stramash. Details 
which might grieve or offend must as 
far as possible be barred, even ab the 
risk of loss in dramatic interest, and 
if any slip is made it will assuredly 
be unintentional. 

Further, it may be explained that 
as the residents of the village in 1850, 
and the ten years after, were in a 
peculiar sense the "makers" of Ren 
frew, and as they are nearly all gone 
now, it seemed that some effort might 
well be made to make our readers in 
some measure personally acquainted 
with them all. There is some risk 
of being tedious, indeed ; and there 
can be no such attempt, on any ex 
tended scale, when we reach the later 
periods in which the persons written 
about are in active service still, but 
our first chapter will be devoted to 
making acquaintance with the citi 
zens of 18501860. 

So much, by way of introduction 
and of telling what may be expected. 
Now turn we to the "Story, which 
left off, generally speaking, at the 
end of the "forties." 


1850 TO 1860 PERIOD 


Who, and What Manner of Persons, the Citizens of this 

Period Were. 

In a former chapter raav be found 
an extract from Smith s history 
which gives a succinct acconnt of the 
progress, resources and prospects of 
Renfrew and the surrounding town 
ships at the beginning of this period. 
That resume may easily be supposed 
to have been based on a leaf from 
the note-book of some reporter who 
had been commissioned to spy out the 
land. As he evidently traversed the 
mail route from Pakenham through 
White Lake and Burnstown, likely 
he came on horseback, which was at 
that time a favorite mode of travel 
ling and one in which many men and 
women were adepts. Wheeled ve 
hicles might get through, but only 
under penalty of much jolting and 
straining and the imminent possi 
bility of being mired in n arshy 
places which were almost irnpa c sable 
when wet weather intervened. It 
suited his purpose better to come by 
that road, but th^ Ottawa River route 
was then a more eligible way of 
reaching our village from outside 
points during the summer. From By- 
town stages ran to Aylmer. Thence, 
a steamer conveyed passengers and 
freight through Lake Descheues to 
the foot of the Chats rapids. There, 
a portage was made at first by bat- 
teaux ; but, later, by horss railwav 
- and from the head of the Chats 
rapids another steamer ran to Con- 
roy s wharf at Bonuechere Point, 
whence conveyance could be had 

over a rather poor road to Renfrew. 
The steamer Oregon was amongst the 
first on Deschenes Lake and, for a 
time Geo. Ross, afterwards of Ren 
frew, was her captain. Later, she 
was replaced by the Lady Colborne. 
The Geo. Buchanan was the first on 
Chats Lake, and the Emerald followed 
when the Buchanan was dismantled. 

This route was improved early in 
the fifties by the building of Far- 
rell s wharf and the opening of the 
Opeongo road to and beyond Ren 
frew. It was extended also by the 
opening of the Gould route, from the 
head of Chats Lake by stage to Cob- 
den, thence by steamer through Musk- 
rat Lake and River to Pembroke, and 
eventually to Des Joachims and by a 
series of portages to Mattawa. This 
continued to be the business and pleas 
ure route till on in the seventies, and 
even after. So much for means of in 
gress and egress in those days. 

The man with the note book came 
on from Burnstown and has eriven us 
a glimpse of what he saw. No doubt 
he set down much more, and what a 
relief it would be to the present 
chronicler if only such a note book 
had fallen into his hands. Having 
had no such precious windfall he may 
yet follow that reporter s tracks and, 
taking to himself a reporter s well 
known license may strive to make a 
story of it after all by introducing 
to your further acquaintance those 
who were helping Renfrew forward. 



pointing out where and how they 
were at work and giving some hints, 
or guesses it may b*\ as to what 
manner of men or women they were. 

The first outpost of Renfrew after 
leaving Bumstown would be the 
church at "Canaan," which up to this 
date had been supplied by Mr Mann, 
of Pakenham, who held service there 
every third Sabbath, to which came 
with commendable regularity the set 
tlers in Bromley, Admastou, Horton 
and McNab, as well as those in Ren 
frew; R. R. Smith, A. Paterson, 
John Campbell, of Admaston, being 
prominent amongst tnose who came 
from far. At this time, however, the 
burden of the work -had laid the 
minister aside for near a year and 
negotiations were on foot which re 
sulted in securing a minister for Mo- 
Nab and Horton. That first church 
on "Churchfield" Stewart s farm 
about two miles from Bumstown con 
tinued to be as Ziou to the old set 
tlers, down to the time of its de 
molition near 1885. 

The second outpost would be about 
a mile nearer the village, where the 
reporter would certainly call on the 
Morris and Martin families, whose 
business and social relations with the 
village were very close. There as we 
know were the first post office and the 
County Registry office ; ,Tas. Morris, 
Sr. , and afterwards Jas. Morris, Jr., 
holding these positions In 1850, Jas. 
Morris, jr., was reeve of McNab and 
Bagot, and in 1853 he was warden of 
the united counties of Lanark and 
Renfrew. Renfrew Jmd in him a most 
Consistent and prudent friend and ad 
vocate, and had he not had to retire 
from municipal life on his appoint 
ment as Registrar in 1854 his popu 
larity and his wisdom in counsel would 
certainly have meant much for our 
village in the exciting times that came 
later on. A modest, retiring gentle 
man, yet determined in acting UD to 
his convictions, he was highly respect 
ed by all who knew him and fitted 
well the positions of Registrar and 
Sheriff, to which in succession lie was 
called. A trait in his character which 

endeared him to many in this vicinity 
was the intense love he had for the 
scenes of his early days. This brought 
him often from Pembroke to spend a 
day in his old haunts or to worship 
in the old church, and at such times 
many a warm hand grip was given 
and received. 

Wm. Morris was more seen about 
our streets, as his lumbering operations 
had their base here, and as the Mar 
tin s, father and sons, took part in 
his activities, the same may be said 
of them. His home at Greenlaw was 
the much frequented meeting place of 
the young people when on pleasure 
bent. Frequently there were large 
parties of invited guests, who were 
right royalty entertained. But the 
most cherished memories of many 
clustered around the happy evenings 
spent there by little bands who rode 
out, knowing that they needed no 
special invitation to make them free 
of the hospitality of the ever genial 
host and hostess of Greeulaw. Re 
verses came later, for lumbering was 
a precarious business in those days, 
and by the "seventies" the Wm. 
Morris and Martin families had scat 
tered to Fort William, to Calgary,, 
to Vancouver and th* Vernon Valley. 

Mrs Morris still lives in Vancouver 
and the Martins are active workers 
in the Veruon country. 

Peter Morris, who was for a time 
in the West Indies, and, after, in 
business in Burnstown, died earlv and 
touched our village most through his 
daughter, who came to us about 1870, 
as the bride of .T. L. McDougall, then 
M.P. and M.P.P. for S. Renfrew. 

Between Greenlaw and the village 
the early settlers were, for the most 
part, notable for frugality and indus 
try, for intelligence and self-reliance. 
Their religious training had a, strong 
grip upon them, also, and upon their 
children after them. Thus they had 
greatly prospered, and one realizes 
that, though not wituin its bounds, 
thej- deserve recognition as very help 
ful "makers of Renfrew." On other 
lines ouverging in the village also, 
were men of like stamp who were 



similarly helpful. The various Stew 
art families, the Forrests, Smiths 
and Frasers, the Knights, McLarens 
and Barrs, the Mclutyres, McNabs, 
Martins and Bussells, the Eady con 
nection, and the Jamiesons, as well as 
many others, may be said to have laid 
the foundations of the business pros 
perity of the town by their, yearly 
grpwing trade. But even that was a 
small thing compared with soniething 
else which the majority of them did. 
For, they sent us well-trained and in 
dustrious sous and daughters and, 
looking backward .and noting who 
these were and what they have been 
doing, one easily discovers that many 
of pur best citizens came, to us in that 
Way and that, without their good 
help, it is quite unlikely that Ren 
frew would have grown to be the 
solid town that it is to-day. . , 
, So much to the credit of the sturdy 
yoemen who peopled the townships 
about us. 

A second outpost was at the mills 
on the creek, about a mile and a half 
out. These were the first mills in the 
vicinity and were a great boon to the 
community. In the early part of ithis 
period the,y were operated by John 
McRae ; but, as he soon after removed 
to his new mill on the Bonnechere. 
his record may be deferred till we 
meet him as a full-fledged citizen of 

Coming to the head of Barr s hill, a 
glance to his right hand would show 
our reporter the first clearances in the 
village proper large clearances and 
in the distance the fine farmsteading 
of Sergeant Airth, , who, with the 
strong help of five stalwart sons and 
as, many sonsie daughters, had got 
far beyond the days .when "tauties 
and a pickle saut" made . an accept 
able meal. He s, a man of . substance 
now. His son David is his working 
partner. In an honored old age he 
holds the posts of elder in the Kirk, 
of J.P. and of Captain in Militia. He 
has been Councillor and Reeve, but 
from this time forward leaves such 
honors to his sons. An intelligent 
and reliable man, a disciplinarian, as 

might be expected, one who had a few 
good books which were well conned 
by himself and his children, he was a 
distinct force in the making of Ren 
frew, and his influence lived after 
him and was increased by the energy 
and intelligence of his sons. 

On the left hand stood the humbler 
home pf Joseph May hew, , whose farm 
ran up into the stony .ground. Happy 
home, made bright by the cheery and 
deeply religious nature of Mrs Ma,y- 
hew, whose delight it was to have a 
good heart-talk with all comers. She 
remained with us till very old and 
feeble and all but blind, but to the 
last it was refreshing to spend an hour 
in her company. Kindly deeds and 
stalwart .sons, also, did these pioneers 
add as their contribution to the pro 
gress of our village. 

It was perhaps as far on as 1853, 
that the Manse, with its flower beds 
and the saplings of the now fall Lom- 
bardy poplars, was ; all in order and 
tenanted by Rev. Qeo. Thomson, who 
was a teacher in the old land, , a,n 
M.A. of Aberdeen, a thorough scholar, 
an able preacher; and a kindly, .large- 
hearted man. He came in 1851, his 
family followed in 1852, ,and his pas 
torate ended, only at his death on the 
last day of 1870. The manse was an 
other centre of genial hospitality in 
those days. Special mention may be 
made of the way in which the Second 
Line people and others, McLarens, 
Stewarts, Mnlntyres, Knights, MqNabs 
and the lave after spending the J^ew 
Year s morning in the old Scotch way, 
of first footing and visiting, used to 
win H _ up by driving^ ip gallant proces 
sion to the manse, where cordial greet 
ings were interchanged, between min r 
is^er and people as, together, th,ey set 
out on the round of, their respective 
duties for another year. ,The minister 
exerted himself in securing a town 
cemetery, which was situated on his 
farm on the hill, and no long time 
passed till his eldest sou John was 
laid to rest th<ire. Ho went with 
horses to the shanties and, when 
stooping to buckle a loosened strap, 
he was kicked. He lived for some 



weeks and then was brought home, 
but the journey re -opened the wounds 
and he soon passed away. Later on, 
his youngest son. William, who was a 
conductor running out of St. Paul, 
Minn., was killed in a railway acci 
dent. These sad things bound Mr 
Thomson to the village, as well as the 
love of his people, and though 
often enticed to go to a larger sphere, 
he remained with ns and was honoured 
with the highest dignities which the 
church had tn bestow. Soon after his 
death, kindly, patient, sadly afflicted 
Mr& Thomson followed. Several of 
his family were long in or about the 
village, but they scattered at length, 
and now the majority of the bright 
band who filled the manse with glee 
in the early days, have crossed the 
great divide. 

The house and saddler s shop of M. 
Bronsseau stood next. Soon, his son 
John took his place beside his father. 
They were good workmen, but as both 
delighted in and often found time 
for long chats, the work lagged. 
They were good neighbors, withal, 
and John s sons and daughters hold 
such places in life as tell well for 
the mother s care and training. 

Alongside of Brousseau s was then 
the home of James Gibbons, whose 
son John B. was and is now working 
the home farm. Miss Gibbons mar 
ried James Allan, P.L. S., and they 
occupied this same house till the 
"eighties," when they removed to 
their fine residence farther out. 

Mr Gibbons had for years the ar 
duous task of conveying the mails to 
Cobden. He is remembered as a faith 
ful worker and, though somewhat 
blunt in speech and manner, was a 
kind-hearted man, whose neighbors 
held him in much esteem. 

Next, stood the home and surgery 
of Dr. David Evans, who came to us 
from Richmond, Ont. , where his 
father was for a long time minister. 
Dr. Evans had a distinguished career 
iu college and when, with all the en 
thusiasm of an ardent nature, he 
threw himself into the practice of his 
profession, he soon gained such re 

cognition as meant day and night 
work, long and fatiguing drives, and 
much else which laid heavy burdens 
on, and set strong temptations in, the 
path of clever and prosperous physi 
cians in Canada s early days. He was 
a jovial, hearty, witty man, the centre 
and life of every social gathering and 
function which he was free to attend, 
and, as he rejoiced in such relaxations, 
he often made it possible at the ex 
pense of proper rest. The burden soon 
became too heavy. He sank under it, 
and to the sorrow of the poor, to 
whom he was a friend, and the great 
grief of the well-to-do, who relied 
upon him, he died after twenty years 
service whilst 3 T et a comparatively 
.young man. His family went to Tex 
as, and the property has long been the 
home place of A. A. Wright. 

On the same property, but nearer the 
Creek, stood a rough-cast house, which 
was likely Dr. Evans first home and 
has since been tenanted as their first 
house in the village by a number 
who became prominent in its affairs. 
At this time it was occupied by 
Samuel Francis, a young axe-maker 
from the neighborhood of Smith s 
Falls. He had his shop bv the Creek- 
side and there he and his assistant- 
William Roberts put such faithful 
ness and good steel into ftvery axe 
turned out as soon made Francis axes 
in demand on the Bonnechere and 
Madawaska. About the middle of this 
period, he removed to the permanent 
site of his factory, by the North side 
of the Bonnechere, stowing his house 
hold in the cosy nook further down 
that stream. Roberts was still with 
him, and with a succession of appren 
tices, prominent among whom was 
Elkanah Mayhew, he continued in 
business, until axe-making was on the 
wane, and he himself began to be 
broken down. Of Quaker extraction, 
he had many traits of character that 
befitted such descent, being a quiet, 
gentle, devout man, who did much in 
the cause of temperance, as has al 
ready been related, and took a deep 
interest in all that made for moral 
and spiritual uplift in the commun- 



ity. He loved his quiet home and 
clung to the true hearts that were 
around him there. His other love was 
for children, who all knew him as 
their friend and crowded round him 
in the later days, when he had leisure, 
and rejoiced his heart greatly by 
their confidence and affection. 

Further down the Creek were the 
saw mill which had been renovated 
and the tannery, which, with its as 
sociated shoemaking and harness 
shops, had been built by John Smith. 
Later, a stone grist mill (a brewery 
at first) was added. He and his young 
wife, daughter of Lanark s pioneer 
minister had come to us in 1847 from 
that hamlet and dwelt first in a small 
house which stood near the street, in 
front of where their comfortable 
residence was built l^ter. They were 
welcomed to the social circles of those 
days and took part in the pleasant 
parties of the time, Mr Smith being 
a central figure on many festive occa 
sions. The calls of business soon won 
more and more of his attention. He 
had a genius for accumulation, with 
abundant energy and capacity for do 
ing telling work and. in no long time, 
he was one of the rising men of the 
place A little later he had become 
large property owner; having houses 
and vacant lots in many parts of the 
town, as well as farms in the country. 
These, with his many business pro 
positions, which he managed with 
shrewdness and skill, made him prom 
inent as a man of means. So mas 
terful a man could not stand aside 
when pressed to give his attention to 
village affairs. He entered that field 
and became, and continued to be for 
years, the mcst potent force in our 
municipal and school matters. An 
autocrat, some said, and likely they 
were right. No doubt he was the 
man for the times when money was 
scarce and to keep down taxes was 
the ratepayer s chief end; but, look 
ing backward, it appears that if he 
had struck out on broader lines he 
might have accomplished more for the 
town. For twenty-five years he 

wrought faithfully according to his 
light, and then turned his undivided 
attention to his own business affairs. 
We shall have frequent occasion to 
refer to him again. 

Just beyond the tannery was built 
the carding mill of William Logan, 
who came to us from Ottawa, where 
he was in McKay s employ and had 
gained expert knowledge of woollen 
manufacturing. He lived on what 
was called Albert street, (nowArgyle) 
in a house on the corner opposite Dr. 
Mann s present residence. Active, 
energetic, well-informed and reliable, 
his business prospered and when he 
removed to the site on the Bonnechere 
it prospered still more. He made good 
cloth and taught his sons to do the 
same, and they are still doing that at 
the old stand those who remain for 
several have followed their parents to 
the silent house. There were few 
movements in which Wm. Logan did 
not take active and stirring part in 
this period and all through he had an 
intelligent interest in what was going 
on. His guardian angel in the home 
left him early and was much missed 
by him in later years, when her help 
and counsel would have meant so much 
to him and his children. 

A little farther out, on the Opeongo 
road was the home of Dr. Carswell, 
who after many years of hard 
and exacting service, was be 
coming less able to go on long and 
weary drives and whose useful 
career ended about the middle of this 
period. He was a clever and well 
equipped physician, as has been already 
told, concerning whom one wonders 
that he should have wrought so con 
tentedly and unselfishly in this out-of- 
the-way corner, when so many more 
inviting openings must have invited 
him thither. It was well that he 
stood by his post among us, for his 
skill was the means of prolonging 
many a life. He left a family of 
sons and daughters who became faith 
ful and energetic workers in the up 
building of the town. 

It seems permissible to make a 


little further mention at this point, 
of "Dr. John" McNab.whowas a con^ 
temporary of Dn Oarswell and lived 
after him. He was not a Doctor in 
the technical sense, bnt had a sound 
education, and some early training in 
dispensing drugs. Add to these, the 
further qualifications of strong com 
mon sense, abundant nerve, and a 
deeply sympathetic nature, and one 
has some idea of this remarkable man, 
who, coming among the first settlers. 
saw work for someone to do in re 
lieving pain, and who, without 
thinking of reward, set himself the 
task, which entailed on him much 
loss of time as well as many weary 
hours of watching. His success was 
based on the fact that he so often es 
tablished himself as nurse as well as 
physician, and fought so many grim 
battles with disease on the declared 
line that "it s our business to keep 
them out of heaven as long as pos 
sible," the declaration, let it be 
noted, not of a sceptic but of a trudy 
religious- man, who was so long n 
elder and mainstay of the Kirk and 
who 1 so often ministered spiritual 
consolation to the sick and sorrowing 
who had the benefit of his skill. It 
may be confidently said that he was 
adored and beloved above most men 
in the community, and he was wor 
thy of it ; for he was of the typp/ set 
before us by Ian Mcalaren, in his 
beautiful pen-picture of Dr. Mac- 
Olure. He and Dr. Carswell were iu 
many respects the chief benefactors 
of these townships for the first forty 

Alongside of Dr. Oarswell s was the 
home of John Mills, a carpenter, who 
was ready to turn his hand to much 
else. Hi6 wife was a sister of Wm. 
Gordon, an d a notable woman. She 
removed to Lindsay, but her two sons 
came back to us for a time, Rev. W. 
G. Mills, as assistant in St. Andrew s 
church, and John as a High School 
teacher. The mothei lived again in 

Turning back again to the Main 
street, just north of the Creek stood 

the blacksmith shop and a little fur 
ther on the dwelling of James O 
Connor, a man of the "early forties," 
who was well doing and had pros 
pered. About the middle of this per 
iod he purchased the farm just west 
of the Village in Admaston, to which 
he removed with his now growing up 
family, and only wrought by spells in 
the shop, when there was a slack time 
on the farm. The homestead is still 
in the hands of his son James, and the 
whole family have been much respect 
ed in the community. Wm. O Conner, 
one of our furniture dealers, is one of 
the younger Children of this pioneer, 
who, With his estimable wife, was 
one of the good foundation layers of 
our town. The dwelling was later fit 
ted up as a store, and has had many 
tenants during the last fifty years ; 
Ellis at present occupying it as a 
grocery and liquor store. 

It must have been early in this per 
iod also that the log blacksmith shop 
opposite the O Connor place was built. 
Probably Adam McTavish, who after 
wards built on the gore lot on Hall 
street,; first occupied this shop, but 
there is some uncertainty about this. 

John Smith s residence, as has been 
already told, was further north on 
Main street, and on the corngr of the 
Opeongo road stood the building which 
forms part of the present British 
Hotel, which was the first business 
stand of George -and Roderick Ross. 

About 1850 these dealers moved 
across the street and Sampson Coombs 
began to keep a hostelry there. He 
was also the owner of the farm to 
which he went back after a few years 
and on which he lived to an advanced 
age.; He built the saw mill on the 
creek which John Smith enlarged, 
and at a later period he set up a 
brawery on the creek, which was af 
terwards burned down. He was a 
genial host and a man of some sub 
stance and consequence in the com 
munity, but his choice of a business 
eventually wrought against him and 
he lost his grip. 

The palmy days of the British Hotel 



were later when the pushing little 
Irishman, Pat Kelly, was in control. 
Impulsive, warm-hearted "Pat" had 
hosts of friends and his house was for 
years the rendezvous of large numbers 
of his countrymen who settled west 
of us. That was late in the "fifties," 
perhaps even in the "sixties," and 
continued on at least into the "eight 
ies. " After Pat s death there were 
frequent changes, and its fame and 
fortunes were somewhat checkered 
down to the advent of the present pro 
prietor, who has brought up its reput 
ation during the last year. 

Ou the East side of Main street in a 
building which is a part of the Dom 
inion House, John McAndrew had 
entered on a business career which 
continued well on to forty years. His 
home, at this time, was on the property 
where his son now resides and later 
in this period he built a store beside 
his dwelling and removed from the 
" upper end. " His mother and sister 
presided in his home for some years. 
Then came to him the blessing of a 
good wife and around them grew up 
a family, to \Vhora he was devoted, 
on whose thorough education he was 
intent, and whose welfare was the 
chief care of his later years. All 
men knew his strict integrity and 
trusted him implicitly in business re 
lations, aud he prospered accordinglv. 
Some few were privileged to look 
beneath the -surface and they knew 
that this self-contained man was 
guided in life by the highest prin 
ciples and that deep humility, tender 
heartedness and abundant generosity 
were of the essence of his character. 
He had such home-keeping instincts 
that he took little part in outside 
affairs, unless in connection with his 
church. Eventually he removed to 
Toronto, where his son John, who 
had been M. P. P. for the riding, holds 
a responsible position in Osgoode Hall 
and where, cared for by his daughters, 
hs lived to a long age. His son, D. 
McAndrew, remains with us and lives 
in the old home. 

Next door to John McAndrew 

was the business place of George 
Ross (Roderick Ross, his part 
ner never lived in Renfrew) and 
here he opened the first post office in 
the village ; his appointment being 
practically coterminous with the 
transfer of the postal system from the 
British to the Provincial Government, 
with the inception of a uniform rate 
of postage three pence per half ounce 
and wi<-h the introduction of post 
age stamps (1851.) He had a good 
education aud a competent knowledge 
of business affairs and forms. Thus 
he was vested with many offices, such 
as Notary Public ; Commissioner for 
taking affidavits in the Queen s 
Bench ; Clerk of the Division Court ; 
issuer of marriage licenses ; Secretary 
of the Agricultural Society and of the 
Board of Education ; and was the con 
veyancer and in a way the legal ad 
viser for the district. 

This multiplicity of offices gradually 
turned him from business, till he be 
came practically an office worker, 
after the manner of our friend Geo. 
Eady at the present time. Being 
brought, into continuous contact with 
the people he wielded a very consider 
able influence in municipal and ed 
ucational affairs; indeed there was 
no matter discussed or carried out in 
this period, in which his voice was 
not heard and in which he did not 
take part. He became an enthusiastic 
Orangeman ; it being at his instigation 
that the Order built for themselves 
the Hall, still standing at the "upper 
end," which, being purchased by the 
village, became the town hall and was 
long in use as the Grammar and Com 
mon School building. Later in this 
period he owned the house and place 
of business still occupied by his 
widow a sister of the late Sheriff 
Morris and there he continued till 
his death in 1864. Mr Ross had in 
a marked degree the characteristics of 
the Celtic temperament ; warm-heart 
ed, generous, hospitable, ready to go 
through fire and water for his friends, 
but also impetuous and little able to 
brook opposition. Thus he attracted 


friends who stood by him, and had 
also tireless opponents to whom he 
gave no quarter bat the "Storj 7 " can 
do no more than glance at those 
things whilst recording the distinct 
place he held in this period as an 
active man of affairs. 

Farther down, on the east side of 
the street, Henry Groves was pro 
prietor and held sway as host of the 
Hibernia Hotel, which was one of the 
busy and comfortable stopping places 
of the period. Later on he had a 
smaller house on the site of Jas. 
Carswell s lumberyard, but he lost his 
grip and eventually sank out of notice. 

About where The Journal office now 
stands, was the shop of Arch. Thom 
son, familiarly known as "the learned 
blacksmith" because he had been a 
considerable reader of informing 
books and was very ready to open out 
the treasures of knowledge which he 
had thus secured. He was an in 
dustrious man of forceful person 
ality, who made his views known 
and stood by them with abun 
dant determination. His blacksmith 
shop was often filled of an evening 
with those who agreed in the main 
with his views. Then discussions, 
ranging over a wide variety of sub 
jects, were held, and plans were con 
cocted which were intended to rectify 
supposed or real abuses, or to further 
the interests of the village in certain 
directions. No doubt these plans 
"went aft aglee" but they helped in 
bringing "grist to the mill." Thus 
Mr Thomson increased in opulence and 
influence with the passing years. His 
recreation was. first of all, in ordering 
church affairs, especially in the psalm 
ody department, to which he gave 
much personal aid, and which he 
sought to advance by instituting sing 
ing classes in the winter months. His 
second pet project was the Mechanics 
Institute, in which along with Mr 
Dirkson and others, he played a pro 
minent part, and assisted in making 
it the helpful heritage it has been to 
the village since its founding in 1854. 
A douce man was Archy and when, on 

the organization of the County, he 
was appointed to the Clerkship of the 
Surrogate Court we lost and Pem 
broke gained a good citizen. Until 
his death about 1900, he was a fre 
quent visitor, having always retained 
a strong liking for the village and the 
"cronies" with whom he foregather 
ed here. His home was immediately 
south of the old log school site on 
Flaunt street. 

In 1850 the most pretentious store 
and dwelling in town were in the 
stone building which still forms part 
of the Bank of Ottawa. There Robert 
Mclntyre carried on an extensive busi 
ness, which from small beginnings 
reached high water mark in the early 
"fifties" whilst it was yet under his 
personal charge. He was a shrewd, 
pushing, reliable business man with 
a certain "pawkiness" and suavity 
of manner which attracted and held 
much of the best trade of that day. 
By this time he had attained a secure 
and opulent position, had plentv spare 
cash a very scarce commodity then- 
made careful investments, frequently 
with helpful results to the borrowers 
as well as to himself, and owned 
much land in the village and its 
vicinity. Bv the middle of the period 
he had gone to Montreal, where, as 
an active partner in the firm of Mc 
lntyre & Stewart, he accumulated 
still further wealth and laid the 
foundations of the present outstanding 
mercantile firm of Mclntyre, Sons & 
Co. Returning to us for a little time, 
he became Member for the county 
about the middle of the sixties, after 
which he retired to a long life of ease 
in Edinburgh, Scotland, where his 
son, Peter, is an Advocate, with lit 
erary tastes. This genial man did 
not give much attention to the 
direction of village affairs, but he was 
a chief promoter of the building of 
the first stone Presbyterian Church 
and was an active worker in its 

When Robert Mclntyre left Renfrew 
for Montreal, the business was contin 
ued under the direction of his brother 



Malcolm, who also accumulated a 
goodly competence, retiring towards 
the end of the "sixties" to live in a 
suburb of Edinburgh. His temper 
ament was altogether different from 
that of his genial brother Robert. In 
manner, he was distant, verging on 
the repellant. Yet, as he was 
thoroughly reliable the impetus of 
the past carried him through, until 
the active opposition of younger and 
more affable men increased, when the 
business waned. It was continued 
for a time by Malcolm Mclntyre a 
distant connection and Robert Cars- 
well son of Dr Carswell. Their 
tastes, however, led them to settle on 
near-by farms which came to them 
with the estate and, eventually, they 
became so engrossed in their farming 
operations that, well on in the "sev 
enties" they closed out the business. 

It will be nored that so far we have 
been dealing, for the most part, with 
the east side of Main street. The fact 
is that it grew up first, under the wise 
foresight and liberal policy of Xavier 
Flaunt who owned the land. Thus it 
happened that at this juncture, there 
were few buildings on the west side. 
North of the British Hotel and down 
to. the Baruet block corner, there was 
probably only the shop and dwelling 
of John Churchill in 1850. He had 
his cooper s shop about where Pedlow s 
store stands and his house a little fur 
ther down, where it stood till very 
lately. A quiet, industrious, shrewd 
and reliable man was John Churchill, 
one who took an intelligent interest 
in village affairs and was often elect 
ed as a councillor and as a school 

His shop was another of the village 
eveuiu r resorts, and the opposing 
parties in the not infrequent shindies 
that arose on fair days and other 
holidays, found in his stave-piles 
lonveuient weapons of the "shilla- 
la" order which they were nnt slow 
to appropriate. The cooper s trade 
waxed dull as the potash industry de 
creased, and Mr Churchill, selling out 
to John Burns, retired sometime in 
the "sixties" to the farm near 

the village, where he lived for many 

It is doubtful if the old Barr & 
Wright store was built by 1850, but 
it is certain that there was an ex 
tensive business being done there 
early, in the "fifties" by the firm of 
McDonald and Rankin. McDonald 
never lived here, but had his home 
in Ottawa and was alive still in 1900. 
John Rankin, the active partner, who 
was one of the township of Ross Ran 
king, is remembered as a genial, 
active man of business, who, however, 
never came into prominence in con 
nection with village affairs. Soon 
after this period he went to Cobden 
where he took an active part in poli 
tics, and eventually was appointed to 
a government position in a distant 
part of the province. 

Returning to the East side of Main 
street, it appears that, about 1850, W. 
N. Faichnej built, though he did not 
completely finish nor occupy, the stone 
building opposite the present Barnet 
block. This "old tinier," who was a 
blacksmith by trade, branched off in 
to lumbering but, like many others, he 
was caught in the whirlpool of 1878 
and lost heavily. He had an influen 
tial place in municipal affairs, being 
often accorded a seat in the council. 
Later he became invested with a 
variety of offices, such as collector, 
assesscir, and street inspector which, 
along with occasional contracts which 
htt undertook, enabled him to live in 
comfort in the home on Flaunt street, 
where his widow and one of his 
daughters still reside. About sixtv 
years he was with us. His official 
services were of real advantage to the 
village and as neighbor and friend 
he had the esteem and confidence of 
very many. 

Passing by the residence of Geo. 
Ross already mentioned and on to the 
site now occupied by Geo. Eady, we 
find that intelligent, active, Scotch 
joiner, John Burns, at work there in 
1850. There he set up his home soou 
after and there he gained repute as a 
capable workman and as a trusty hon 
orable man treasurerships of the Vil- 



lage, the School Board, the Cemetery 
Co., and various societies went his 
way ; showing the estimation in which 
he was held. Later, he purchased and 
removed to the Churchill property 
on the West side, where there grew 
up around him and his excellent wife 
a family of clever boys, who after 
wards took rank among the most re 
spected and successful young men of 
our village. Unhappily, "the white 
plague," claimed as its victims one 
after another of them, until only 
William, the well known Civil En 
gineer, remains. 

Special mention should be mnde of 
"Father" James, whose beautiful 
character and spotless life were such 
that all classes and creeds monrned 
when, after a short curacy in his 
home church, he was early called to 
his rest. 

As has already been told, Wm. 
Dickson was the first resident shoe 
maker, his shop being about where 
The Mercury office now stands. He 
and several brothers came to Canada 
from the neighborhood of Selkirk, 
Scotland. They all had the literary 
bent and were not only well inform 
ed but had also the faculty of impart 
ing their information attractively, 
whether in conversation or formal 
address ; which was no more than 
might be expected, for in their early 
day? the whole region about Selkirk 
was under the wizard spell of Sir 
Walter Scott, whose marvellous pro 
ductions awakened a true love for 
literature and caused many young 
men to see "visions." Thus Wm. 
Dickson s shop became a favorite meet 
ing place, where sallies of wit and 
humor, as well as telling repartee, 
mingled with informing conversation, 
well-told tales and solid discussion; 
a Literary Club of a very helpful 
kind. Dickson was of course 
the autocrat of this circle and had 
much influence on the attitude of his 
admirers on social, municipal and 
even ecclesiastical questions. Equally 
of course, when he espoused any cause, 
he gave it his whole hearted support 

and by telling advocacy and willing 
work contributed to its success. 
Sometimes there was the clash of 
arms, but, on the wholp, without any 
lasting feeling being aroused. The 
Sons of Temperance, the Mechanics 
Institute, the cause of Education and 
his church all owed much to his 
ardent advocacy. He went from us 
to hold a position in Goderich, where 
he still lives; reminding us also by 
interesting letters to The Mercury 
that he has a Wrirm place in his heart 
for the community in which he long 
held a distinctive place. 

The house and cabinet -making shop 
of Robert Drysdale occupied the site 
of the present Hundford block. He 
came to us from Lanark village, mar 
ried a daughter of Sampson Coombs, 
and, being a most painstaking work 
man, he attracted to him a number of 
apprentices, prominent among whom 
were Alex. Ferguson, Robert Carswell, 
Duncan Mclntyre, all of whom branch 
ed out into general carpentering and 
had much hand in the building opera 
tions of the village. With the advent 
of machine-made furniture, Mr Drys 
dale foun 1 his occupation not so pro 
fitable. At length, he was appointed 
Town Clerk, the duties of which office 
he performed with great care and un 
failing courtesv until his death in the 
"nineties." A quiet, retiring, gentle 
soul was that of Robert Drysdale. 
Contentedly he lived, having his in 
terests chiefly in his own home whilst 
faithfully attending to duties which 
brought him into frequent contact 
with his fellow-citizens, amongst 
whom he was deservedly held in much 

William Mackay may be mentioned 
next, because, though he began busi 
ness in 1851 in a small building on 
what was afterwards the Dougall 
property, he removed in 1858 to the 
store and dwelling still standing 
on the corner of Renfrew st. , opposite 
the Handford block. There his busi 
ness extended so rapidly that in 1858 
he purchased the site and built the 
store on "Mackay s corner," at the 



same time buying from one John Mc 
Lean an unfinished house which he 
improved so that it became the well- 
known comfortable and commodious 
family residence. In that store he 
built up a large and profitable busi 
ness, which he finally handed over to 
the control of his sons when the first 
brick block was built on the corner, 
1896. In that comfortable residence, 
also, he and his true helpmeet, Mrs 
Mackay, surrounded :by an attractive 
family of sons and daughters, spent 
many happy years : there she remains, 
her home being a daily calling place 
for her family, the most of whom are 
living in the town. Mr Mackay was 
appointed postmaster after the death 
of Geo. Ross in 1864, and continued in 
active service in that office until his 
death in 1901, delighting in the work 
because it kept him in touch with so 
many old friends and acquaintances. 
He branched off into lumbering about 
the close of the "sixties," entering 
into partnership with Alex. Baruet 
and Wm. Bannerman. This firm, hav 
ing weathered the gales of 1878, he 
became one of the wealthy men of the 
community before retiring from the 
partnership about the end of the 
"eighties." Wealth made no change 
in him, for he continued all his life 
the same friendlv man, the same good 
neighbor, the same industrious worker, 
that he had been in the early days. 
All through he had the confidence of 
the community, being honored as a 
man of strict integrity, and winning 
friends to himself by his obliging, 
courteous and helpful disposition. He 
did his due share of municipal work 
and in every movement of his day was 
a force to be reckoned with ; at some 
of our crises a very potent and help 
ful force ; in all moral movements, 
straight out on the side of right; in 
all that concerned the needy and dis 
tressed, an unobtrusive but a sympath 
izing helper. 

A long time friend of Wm. Mackay 
was John Mclnnes, one of the Mc- 
Nab township pioneers, who leaving 
his farm in charge of his elder sons, 

came to us about 1850, and lived on 
Flaunt street, just behind his little 
butcher shop, which is still standing 
next to P. J. Campbell s store. About 
1858 he built his tannery, in which 
new calling he continued till his death 
about the beginning of the " eighties. 
As has already been related, his sym 
pathies were fully enlisted on behalf 
of the Sons of Temperance, to wnich 
order and to the cause of temperance 
in general he gave a whole-hearted 
support. Both Mr Mclnnes and 
"Grannie" lingered with us till far 
past the "alloted span," leaving be 
hind them, when they passed away, 
a blank not easily filled to a circle 
of friends, who knew their sterling 
worth and long remembered their 
genuine kindliness of heart. 

We are impelled at this point to 
make mention of another of Mr 
Mackay s "cronies" Alex. Jamieson 
who came from Glasgow, where he 
had been well trained in the tailor s 
art. Fitly enough he dwelt in the 
stone house just below St. Andrew s 
church, which was first occupied by 
tailor Bonnington. his shop being in 
a small frame building which became 
noted for its periodical migrations 
from site to site, though it never 
ventured far from the corner of Main 
and Church streets. Having come to 
us as a widower with a family of 
small children he, in no long time 
married a daughter of Sergeant Airth, 
and, surely, never was there a happier 
home in Renfrew than that of this 
well assorted pair, so like-minded and 
leal-hearted were they ; kindest and 
truest of friends and best of neighbors. 
His cheery disposition, how often 
he met one with a smile or a jocund 
word attracted to him life-long 
friends, made him popular amongst 
the young men, and gained him the 
special devotion of the children. 
Thus his little shop became a fav 
orite calling-in place just "to bid 
him the time o day" or "to speir at 
him for the latest news." He had a 
healthy interest in all village affairs 
and local doings, but his special in- 



terest was in the welfare of St. An 
drew s church, of which he was care 
takerfor many years without salary, 
when the treasury was often "toom," 
with but a small allowance even 
when the finances were "no sae bad." 
At the same time he was an active 
elder, the right-hand man and near 
personal friend of the two ministers 
under whom he sat, and in all re 
spects so trusty and holpful that this 
chronicler can testify that one of the 
darkest days he ever knew was when 
this good friend was taken from his 
side. How we all missed, and missed 
for long, the trim figure of the alert 
and handsome man of whom we had 
been proud as he moved quietly about 
among us, ministering to our com 
fort in our church-home ! 

Having turned to Flaunt street to 
meet with "Sandie" Jamieson we 
may as well look about that neighbor 
hood before we return to the Main 
street. Just below, on the corner op 
posite the stone house, stands a rough 
cast house, which was then the resi 
dence and had attached to it the shop 
of Wm. -Gordon, another of our early 
shoemakers, who is remembered as an 
intelligent man, reliable in his deal 
ings and esteemed by neighbors who 
were apt to apply to him for advice. 
He removed to Sarnia in 1855, 
eventually going to British Columbia 

On the site immediately above St. 
Andrew s church was the R. O. 
church, a frame building, which 
at the first was in part used as 
rhe presbytery. After a time the pre 
sent presbytery was built; the former 
building still continuing to serve as 
the church until the present com 
modious stone structure was erected 
in 1872. 

"Father" Bouvier, who in the 
"early fifties" was in charge of Ken- 
frew as the centre of a group of sta 
tions, was a hearty, large-hearted 
man, somewhat similar in physical 
proportions and mental disposition to 
the Rev. Mr Thomson. As befitted 
such near neighbors, the priest and 
the presbyter were on friendly terras, 

which contributed very much to the 
good feeling which generally existed 
between their respective flocks. 
"Father" Byrne, who came in 1854, 
continued in charge during the re 
mainder of this period, very much to 
the satisfaction of his own congrega 
tion, as well as to that of the whole 
community, by whom he was greatly 
respected. He was deeply interested 
in educational matters, to which he 
rendered valuable service by acting as 
a Grammar School trustee and as local 
Superintendent. He, eventually, went 
to the western townships, and at the 
close of his laborious and useful car 
eer was in charge of the parish at 

Further up the street were the first 
school -house, the Free Church and the 
little Methodist church, which have 
been already noticed in a previous 

It seems well, however, to make 
more extended mention of Rev. Simon 
C. Fraser, who, though he lived in 
White Lake, had charge of the Free 
Church here as one of his stations, 
which brought him into intimate con 
nection with the village during the 
whole of this period. Mr Fraser, on 
first coining from Scotland, laboured 
as a missionary in the Province of 
New Brunswick. He strongly espous 
ed the cause of the Free church, sup 
porting it by pen and speech witli 
much fervor, which, as he was a clever 
;iud scholarly man, enabled him to 
effect a cleavage amongst the Scottish 
settlers in these townships when he 
came amongst them, about 1847. The 
controversy which then ensued crea 
ted considerable hard feeling, which 
lasted some years, but the present 
writer well remembers a remarkable 
meeting between Mr Fraser and his 
erstwhile doughty opponent, Kev. Dr. 
Mann of Pakeuham. Strangely enough 
they had not met since those old days 
when, as "Greek met Greek, then 
came the tug of war." Dr. Maun 
was in the Manse study, chatting with 
one or two ministerial friends. Hap 
pening to look out of the front win- 



dow, he rose up quickly, saying : 
"There s Simon Eraser coming in the 
gate. What shall I do? "Meet him 
at the door" was the answer. This 
the Doctor hastened to do, and as they 
clasped hands, we who looked on saw 
that the dead past was buried there 
and then. Very beautiful was it to 
see how inseparable they were as long 
as our meetings lasted and we were 
all proud of the spirit manifested by 
these warriors of the earlier days. 
Good results came from these very 
divisions, whilst this may be laid 
down as certain, that in no part of 
Canada did the rancour connected 
with them die out more quickly or 
more completely than in Renfrew and 
vicinity. Mr Fraser handed over the 
Renfrew field to another, about 1860, 
but continued as minister of White 
Lake till near the end of the "six 
ties." Then he retired and ended his 
course in Brandon, where his sons 
had become prominent. He was long 
a Grammar School trustee and a 
Local Superintendent who was thor 
oughly helpful to the cause of Edu 
cation in the townships adjoining. 

With regard to the little log build 
ing which served as a Methodist 
church, it seems to have been built 
and held by the E.M. body. For some 
reason, the Wesleyans displaced the 
Episcopals in the village, though the 
Episcopals held on their way in Hor- 
ton, north of the Bonnechere. The 
church and site seem to have re 
verted to Mr Flaunt, for the School- 
house and Temperance Hall were the 
Wesleyan meeting places until the 
building, in 1872, of the rough cast 
church near the C.P.R. track, during 
the pastorate of Rev. Mr Raney. An 
effort will be made to secure more de 
tailed information than is now at 
hand as to the various pastors who 
labored among this active and helpful 
body of our fellow citizens. 

We have somewhat lost touch with 
the supposed Smith s history reporter. 
If perchance, he explored in one day 
all the ground that we have gone 
over, we can readily understand that 

he would gladly turn his steps to some 
quiet rest ng place most likely to 
what was then the raucn frequented 
and comfortable hostelry over which 
those early pioneers, Xavier and Mrs 
Flaunt presided so acceptably. The 
buildiug still stands and is known as 
the "Albion House." Much has been 
written in the previous narrative of 
this worthy couple. Much more might 
be added but even then the half could 
not be told of the wealth of kindness 
which was in their hearts, 01 of their 
open-handed readiness to help along 
their neighbors and to minister to the 
needy and distressed. Towards the 
end of this period they went up the 
Opeongo road with the rush of incom 
ing settlers, where for many years 
they kept what was known far and 
near as the quietest and most comfort 
able resting place on that thorough 

Returning to us about 1870, they 
built the brick residence in which 
the} and their son William dwelt, 
and where he still resides. There 
they lived in comfort, watching with 
delight the progress of the village to 
which progress they still continued to 
contribute in most generous wise. 
There they gathered around them a 
circle of friends old and new to 
whom they were endeared by the sim 
plicity and beauty of the affectionate 
life which they lived as together they 
"travelled doon the brae." Now that 
thev "sleep togither at the fit," Ren 
frew has good cause to keep green the 
memory of these ever-helpful pioneers. 

It may have been remarked by some 
that we have so far had little to tell of 
the west side of Main street, now so 
solidly built up. Good reason have 
we, for at the beginning of this 
period there was only cultivated farm 
land from John Churchill s place 
Pedlow s down to the site of the 
present "Ottawa House. " There, was 
a small building which was the house 
and shop of Gabriel Minard, one of 
the earliest harness makers of the vil 
lage. Probably he felt the pressure of 
the large business which John Smith 



established in that line. At any rate 
we learn that about 1856 he rented 
his premises to Joseph Gravelle 
shoemaker who the next year 
wrought in partnership with Joseph 
Simard in the O Connor shop near the 
creek. In 1858, Minard sold out, go 
ing to one of the new settlements 
above Pembroke. Joseph Gravelle, 
who was the purchaser, continued to 
do business on a considerable scale in 
that stand until 1868, when he built 
the large hotel, which he called the 
"Ottawa House" and of which he 
was himself the host for about twenty 
years, with the exception of a short 
period during which he rented it to one 
Armstrong from Arnprior. Eventu 
ally, James Young, the present occu 
pant rented it. Mr Gravelle in his later 
years conducted a grocery business in 
the adjoining store. He was an active, 
intelligent man. who largely influenc 
ed his compatriots, thus becoming a 
force in municipal and political mat 
ters that had to be reckoned with for 
years. His sou, Arthur, who was 
born in the Minard building in 1856, 
inherits the influence of his father, 
having long held a helpful place 
among the town fathers. He is pro 
prietor of the " Renfrew Journal, " a 
man of acknowledged ability and 
shrewdness, and has an established re 
putation for facility in opening safes 
whose combination locks have gone 
out of order or whose key numbers 
have been lost. 

In the early "fifties" the Mair 
brothers, of Lanark, who had lumber 
ing interests extending into the b;ick 
townships of our county, having pur 
chased the site north of Minard s, built 
a good sized edifice, in which they 
established a general store, as a 
branch of their Lanark business. It 
was visited occasionally by one of the 
several brothers, but was managed by 
one Charles Black, a popular young 
Lanark man, who was quite a figure 
in our social circles. As reverses came 
to the Mairs, probably in the dark 
days of the later "fifties," the busi 
ness here was discontinued. Then 

John Munro, jr., took hold, doing a 
thriving business in this stand till 
the early "sixties," when he removed 
to the stone store further down the 
street, after which the Mair building 
was vacant for years. 

The adjoining site to the north, was 
early built on by Robert C. Mills, 
who did quite a business there as a 
cabinet-maker, turning his attention 
at the same time to general carpenter 
ing and building, for always he was a 
pushing man who was on the outlook 
for opportunities for bettering his pos 
ition. Thus, he became mail con 
tractor for the route ending at Paken- 
ham, which led him to add staging, 
which venture seems to have been 
successful under the charge of his 
younger brother, Wm. Mills, whom he 
had trained also as a cabinet maker. 
Later he turned his attention to lum 
bering, when, about the middle of the 
"sixties" he bought a limit on the 
Black Donald creek, which he wrought 
for a short time, then selling to Jon 
athan Francis, of Pakenham. To 
wards the end of the "sixties," he 
entered into partnership with Robert 
Turner, of Eganville, a veteran woods 
manthe firm working on the Kip- 
pewa, then a re;i,ote and difficult 
country. About the same time, he be 
came a partner with J. L. McDougall. 
M.P. , in working a limit on the Du 
Moine. He had also by this time 
built a store now occupied by P. S. 
Stewart and had his dwelling farther 
down the street where with Jos. 
Sleeman as partner, he carried on 
quite an extensive general business. 
All these undertakings flourished 
through some years of general pros 
perity but the terrible depression of 
the later "seventies" left little from 
the wreck to the members of these 
firms. Mr Mills and his sons Robert 
and Archie then cultivated their fine 
farms near the Pinnacle, whilst James 
was with us as a valued assistant to 
John McAndrew and the loving 
watcher over his invalid mother in 
the village home. James went event 
ually to College, but his course was 



interrupted as his father, and in fact, 
the whole family, removed to Elsi- 
nore, Gal., when that town was 
being boomed. There Mr Mills went 
to work with his accustomed energy, 
building houses for rental ; there he 
still works on at the age of 85 not 
possible for him to rust out. Several 
of his children are comfortably set 
tled there. Jama- 1 is at Riverside, 
superintendent of a large fruit com 
pany, living up to the promise of his 
well spent youth. Much they all owe 
to "Grandma" McVicar, who when 
their mother s health failed, came to 
her daughter s help and trained her 
grandchildren well. 

The log building which was Robert 
Mclntyre s first store was, about 1851, 
occupied by Richard Dickson, a neph 
ew of Wm. Dickson, He had learned 
the trade of cabinet m king with R. C. 
Mills, and so:m after set up business 
on his own account. After a few years 
he went to Portage-du-Fort, having in 
the meantime married a sister of Alex. 
Ferguson. Later he went west and 
became interested in railway work. 
He is remembered as a steady-goina, 
energetic young man of good parts 
and principles 

The "Exchange 1 Hotel was owned 
by John Munro, sr. , during this whole 
period, attaining under his manage 
ment a widespread reputation as a 
home-like resting place. Near the 
close of the period Mr Munro re 
tired, having built himself a house 
on i; he farm north of the present 
Aberdeen park which was afterwards 
owned by John Moran. The "Ex 
change" was then conducted for some 
time by one Lesperance, afterwards 
by Chas. Hudson, and later on 
was for rainy yars owned by John 
Smitli "of the Exchange. " Mr 
Munro s affairs having become in 
volved, he removed in the "sixties" to 
Arnprior, returning to us, however, 
on the advent of the railway in 1873. 
He built a home on Renfrew street, as 
also extensive sheds in which he did 
business as a forwarder until near the 
close of the "eighties, when he re 

moved to Kincardine. There, he lived 
to a very old age. lovingly cared for 
by his daughter and only remaining 
child, whose devotion to her father 
was in keeping with her otherwise 
beautiful character. He was a genial, 
generous, likable man who made many 
friends. Some of these, at least, got 
closer to him and loved him all the 
more because lie so quietly bore the 
discouragements, reverses and sore 
bereavements which came upon him 
in his later career. 

Yet further down the street, about 
the present site of McVeigh s black 
smith shop, were the home and busi 
ness place of William Watt, carriage 
maker, a man of muc i intelligence 
and force of character, who took large 
part helpful part, too in municipal 
affairs, being frequently councillor 
and also Reeve of the township of 
Horton, of which Renfrew was then 
part. In the Mechanics Institute and 
educational matters he had an abiding 
interest, the nuaber of high class 
books that were placed in the Institute 
library giving lasting testimony to 
the care taken in that respect by Dick- 
son, Watt and other reading men of 
those days. This pushing man was 
taken from us as the result of an ac 
cident at the "raising" of Mclnnes 
tannery in 1858. A beam fell. 
Watt was struck, and so badly injured 
that, though he lived a few weeks, he 
soon passed away. Thus a good helper 
was lost by our village. 

A little farther down, was the stop 
ping place of Lawrence O Rielly, 
whose cheery welcome, abounding 
good nature and strict attention to the 
comfort of his guests were widely and 
favourably known to travellers and 
rivermen. His son Peter inherited 
the good qualities and cheery dispos 
ition of his father. The son s figure 
was very familiar to us till about a 
year ago, he having engaged in 
various lines of business in our 
midst ; at that time he went west 
and, quite lately, died. Both father 
and son were helpful in the upbuild 
ing of Renfrew. 



J. L. McDougall had his successive 
residences, as well as his general 
store, on the east side of Main street. 
As has been already related he owned 
much land in tho village and up the 
Bounechere. His disposition and his 
conduct of his affairs were, apparently, 
largly moulded by the environments 
of his early days in the Highlands of 
Scotland, and by his later experiences 
at the fur trading post. The land- 
holding instincts of. the Chieftains 
were so strong in him that he was 
loath to part with the acres thr.t 
would have clustered the village round 
the rfver banks. How he lost by that 
he probably knew, but in his heart 
was the protest to which he yielded. 
He kept around him a baud of men- 
retainers, we might call them many 
of whom were indolent, and the fre 
quent subjects of his wrath, but he 
kept them on because lie had been so 
long used to such men. He was 
shrewd, energetic, masterful, the most 
considerable man in the community, 
and as such felt himself bound to take 
an active part in its affairs. He did 
take the lead for years but his in 
stincts and old associations so domin 
ated him that he never struck out any 
broad and progressive policy such as 
he, with the influence lie wielded, 
might have carried through with tell 
ing advantage to the village ; in 
cidentally, reaping rich returns for 
himself. The attractions of his home 
were great, Mrs McDougall being a 
model wife and mother ; the essence 
of heart kindness and all true woman 
liness ; an efficient moulding influence 
on the lives of the sous and daughters 
who grew up around them in their 
comfortable and sociable home. Mr 
McDougall passed from us about the 
middle of the "sixties" but Mrs Mc 
Dougall survived him about a quarter 
of a century, her life brightened by 
the affection of her children as well as 
of a circle of attached friends ; though, 
as she was bereaved of some of her 
children and friends were taken whilst 
she was left, the shadow of the lonely 

days deepened on her path before her 
own end came. 

Practically the village did not ex 
tend north of the Bonnechere in 1850, 
but, a couple of years after, the water 
power and lands to the north passed 
into possession of Hon. (later, Sir) 
Francis Hincks, then prominent as a 
political leader and premier. At a 
general election held about that time 
he was elected as member for the 
county, as well as for his old con 
stituency of Oxford. Probably that 
had some connection with his invest 
ment. However that may be, he 
promptly set to work, sending Donald 
Kennedy, surveyor, to lay out a plan 
of that part of the village on 
his newly acquired property. 
This plan provided for a public 
square, which is now in possession of 
the town, the north ward school stand 
ing on a corner of it. There was also 
provision made for a site for County 
Buildings when they should be re 
quired as Sir Francis evidently fore 
saw that they would be his intention 
being that they should be located in 
Renfrew when the time came. In 
pursuance of the broad policy which 
he thus marked out, the dam was im 
proved, the flume erected, the saw 
mill built, whilst a site, with free 
water, was offered as a bonus for the 
erection of a first class grist mill; 
further liberal inducements being 
offered to others who might build 
mills or factories which should draw 
water from the flume. There was a 
stir created by this uew and progres 
sive policy. J. L. McDougall, ac 
cepting the offer and conditions, pet 
to work on the, stone mill, which 
came into use in 1855. In another 
year or so John McRae, whose mill 
on the second line we have already 
noticed, built the wooden gristmill; 
William Logan built his woolen fac 
tory in 1857. and Samuel Francis his 
axe factory about *he same time. 
This activity in building operations 
brought a number of mechanics and 
laborers to the town, besides attracting 



others who looked upon Renfrew as a 
favorable place for starting in busi 
ness; its prospects for steady and sub 
stantial growth being considered ex 
cellent. The immediate effect was 
that there began to be a certain 
amount of building on tha north side 
of the river, sonre of which was in 
anticipation of the erection of the 
mills. We may now notice partic 
ularly what was done. 

Hiucks installed one Wm. McKay 
(not the postmaster) as his agent; a 
position which he continued to hold 
for several years. His first work was 
the building of the sawmill, of which 
he had charge. Then he superintend 
ed the erection of a large building 
which still stands on the site across 
the brid -e immediately north of Bar 
tholomew s Hotel. This was occupied 
for a number of years as a store by J. 
L. IvlcDougall, afterwards standing 
vacant for a long time. It was occup 
ied again, about 1870, by W. M. Dick- 
son, but only for a short period. 
Passing into the hands of Robert Mc 
Laren it was again vacant for over a 
dozen years, until he converted it into 
two dwelling houses, in one of which 
he lived for some time. McKay was 
an active man who, as the represent 
ative of large and powerful interests, 
was clothed with considerable in- 
fluenoe in village affairs. Hincks 
himself had no doubt good intent to 
wards the village, which he might 
have carried into action, bnt in the 
turning of the political wheel lie lost 
the reins of power, whereupon he 
was absent from Canada for years 
acting as Governor of the Windward 
Isles, later of British Guiana. Thus 
his interest in Renfrew became dor 
mant which affected McKay s in 
fluence and position, eventually lead 
ing to his retirement. 

John McRae,when he built the mill, 
also erected his house on the property 
now occupied by W. A. Mackay. 
There, there grew up around him and 
Mrs McRae a woman of earnest and 
beautiful character, beloved of all 
who had the privilege of her acquaint 

ancea family of sons and daughters 
who made their home one of the most 
attractive in the village, a rendezvous 
indeed, for the young people bent on 
having a really good time. Strange 
that in later years it should have be 
come the most sadly afflicted and 
deeply bereaved of all our homes. Mrs 
McRae was yet comparatively young 
when, on the day before what they 
were looking forward to as a happy 
Christmas, their son Alex, went from 
the home to the mill and almost im 
mediately was caught and crushed to 
death in the machinery. The shadow 
of that accident was upon her ever 
after. Then, after several years, her 
own health failed, ana she was an 
almost continuous sufferer. In the 
midst of those years of suffering, so 
patiently borne, there came to her 
the further grief of the collapse, 
through over-iuteut study and work, 
of George, the clever young physician. 
She had strength given her to watch 
over him to the end then in a week 
dhe followed. Well that she was gone 
before that day when Peter, his wife 
and young son were together drowned 
on Lake Deschenes, or that other day 
when John D. was accidentally shot in 
his own office in Ottawa. Mr McRae 
lived to a very old age. He was a 
helpful man in our village, being to 
the end deeply interested in all that 
concerned its welfare. 

About the time the mills were built, 
Orange Wright, one of the Aylmer 
Wrights, came to Renfrew. He built 
the first hotel north of the river, a 
large, comfortable and well equipped 
house of entertainment being thus 
provided for the farmers who came in 
large numbers to the mills. It is to 
be remembered, also, that in those 
days it stood on an eligible position 
on that great thoroughfare the Op- 
eongo Road. Thus many travellers 
patronized this Hotel, both because it 
was a convenient staying place and 
because it was so well conducted, Mr 
Wright being most attentive and Mrs 
Wright a notable house- keeper. Mr 
Wright died about the end of the 



"sixties," but the business went on 
under the care of Mrs Wright and 
their son Orange, until the coming of 
the Railway in 1873. At that time 
it came fully under the management 
of Orange Wright, the j ounger, who 
is still with us as Collector of Cus 
toms. He was a young man of high 
character and strong convictions, 
having also a like-minded young 
wife daughter of John Smith (tan 
ner). He determined to banish the 
bar, which he did, although well 
assured that he would do so at con 
siderable financial loss. The condi 
tions changed, also, after the Railway 
came. The big drive soon ceased. 
He found another opening which was 
more congenial and looked advanta 
geous, thoxigh it turned out otherwise. 
The hotel was closed, fell into disre 
pair, became at length a tenant house 
accommodating several families, 
whilst Mr Wright struggled quietly 
and bravely on in the path marked 
out by himself, rendering splendid 
service to the oanse of temperance, 
to his church, to all moral move 
ments in the community, in which 
he is highly respected. 

A. R. McDonald, blacksmith, also 
saw an opportunity in the activity 
created by the mills, which led him 
to begin business in the vicinity of 
Wright s Hotel, his house being built 
on the corner opposite the G. W. Mc 
Donald residence, whilst the shop was 
nearer the Hotel. He appears to have 
been a go-id tradesman, a man of some 
intelligence, shrewd and forceful to a 
good degree. He was active in village 
affairs, which led to his appointment 
as Collector. For his excellent hand 
ling of the duties of that office he was . 
accorded a special vote of thanks by 
the Council, but afterwards lie and 
the "fathers" disputed with each 
other in such wise as to cause them to 
be at daggers drawn. 

About this time also, Duncan Me- 
Intyre, son of the good elder Peter 
Mclntyre. built a comfortable house 
on Elgin street facing the public 
square, where he had his home until 

the eighties, when he disposed of it 
to the late G. W. McDonald. Quiet 
man and efficient carpenter he never 
fell into the modern way of "rushing 
the job. " Thus he doubtless lost ground 
in the race. 

Either James or George Colvin 
built on the corner opposite Wright s 
Hotel, where George did business for 
several years as a waggon-maker. It 
is not known where he went but his 
brother James lived in Horton until 
his death not very long ago. Wm. 
Logan long had his dwelling in part of 
the factory building then built the 
residence now occupied by his sou 
Thomas. Wm. McKay, agent, built, 
and lived in, the house under the 
brow of the hill where Wm. Roberts 
so long resided afterwards, and a 
little further on was Mr Francis 
home place. The spurt hardly a 
boom which thus settled the Nor^h 
end, subsided before the end of the 
period, after which there was never 
more tlmu very gradual increase in 
that direction, though the situation 
is very inviting. 

Retracing our steps southward and 
looking back, as it were, from the 
end of the period, we shall note the 
more prominent of those who were, 
in its later years, led to cast in their 
lot with us in consequence of the 
good prospects of that time. 

Sinon O Gorman, who came from 
Kilrush, Ireland, arrived abint 1843 
: growing lad then. In 1850 he was 
an apprentice with John Churchill, 
cooper. By 1854, IIR set up for him 
self on the lower end of Argyle street, 
whither also he brought his young 
wife, Maria O Donnollan, daughter of 
a settler on the "Mill road" south of 
tne village. There they lived all 
their Mays ; a well doing and attractive 
couple, as were also the sous and 
daughters who were trained in 
their home. When th^ coopering busi 
ness waxed smaller, Mr O Gormau 
was entrusted with various public 
offices, being for many years bailiff, 
collector, and assessor, in which pos 
itions he rendered faithful service to 



the community. He was a broad- 
minded man, who took deep interest 
in educational matters, serving for 
some time as a trustee. Trusty and 
honorable in all his dealings, he long 
held the confidence and esteem of his 
fellow citizens. He remained with us 
till near the end of the "nineties," 
whilst kind-hearted Mrs O Gorman 
passed only a few days ago. 

Moving up the street, we learn thp,t 
Peter Dougall had come to us from 
Glengarry, starting as a carriage 
builder in a shop opposite St. Andrew s 
church, his home being just north of 
that of Wra. Gordon on Flaunt 
street. After about two years, he 
purchased, in 1859, the long-time store 
stand once occupied bv Robert Mc- 
Intyre, to which he so added that it 
served as both shop and dwelling un 
til, in about ten years, he built the 
commodious residence in which he 
afterwards lived. His. business pros 
pered, for he was a good workman, 
who soon established a reputation for 
fair and honorable dealing. Three of 
his sons who wrought with him, suc 
cessively, went to Winnipeg, to 
which city Mr Dougall himself re 
tired about two years ago, chiefly 
that he might enjoy their companion 
ship in his declining years. His 
quiet, retiring disposition, naturally 
inclined him to enjoy home life, rather 
than to take part in general affairs, 
but as he soon became known as a well 
informed, reliable mau with a large 
fund of common sense, he was called 
to the front by his fellow citizens. 
Thus he became councillor; Reeve; 
one of the perpetual members of the 
school board ; an active and valuable 
elder in St. Andrew s church; in 
which, as in other responsible posi 
tions, he acquitted himself well, for 
he gave as careful attention to their 
duties as he did to his own business. 
Mrs Dougall, with her bright- 
cheery disposition, was a light in the 
home where there grew up a family 
who reflected the good qualities of 
their parents. They were much 

missed when they removed to Winni 
Further up. great changes began 
about the middle "fifties," leading to 
the building up of the west side of 
Main street, re-named at. that time 
Raglan street, in honor of the British 
Commander-in-Chief in the Crimean 

Joseph Philion, who afterwards re 
moved to A. Thompson s stand, at 
this time built a blacksmith shop and 
house on the site which he sold to T. 
B. Muir in the early "sixties." , He 
remained with us till near the 
"seventies," then removing to Ad- 
mastou, where he continued in business 
at Paterson s corners till his working 
days were done. 

Jaiiies Watt, who began business as 
a chairmaker in the stone building 
next to Mrs G. Ross present shop, 
built later on the site adjoining 
Philion s. His chairs had a wide 
reputation for excellence but the time 
came when buyers were content with 
the cheaper factory-made article. 
Thus, towards the end of the "six 
ties," Watt sold to Stephen Walford, 
at which time he took to farming on 
his thirty-acre holding on the Bonne- 
ohere Point road, within the village 
limits; eking out his income by work-, 
ing in his spare time as a carpenter. 
In the early days : he was a frequent 
leader in the frolics that were then so 
common and was always a genial com 
panionable man. 

He passed from us in the early 
"eighties," whilst yet comparatively 
young. His widow, a grand-daughter 
of "Grannie" Mclnnes, still lives 
with us, being much respected for 
the brave struggle by which she pro 
vided for the family who were early 
left dependent on her exertions. 

Along with James Watt wrought 
John Hazelton, who came to ns in 
1857. After a few years he removed 
to Portage-du-Fort and later to 
Douglas. His son, Woo. Hazelton, re 
mained, working as a shoemaker for 
some years with James Airth and 



with John Mclnnes from 1868 
to 1875, during which period he 
married a daughter of Angus Mc 
lnnes, of Goshen. Then he bought 
out the Mclnnes business which 
he carried on, at first, in the little 
shop next to P. J. Campbell s store. 
In 1884 he removed to the shop on the 
site of Handford s block, where he 
continued fifteen years, then selling 
out and going to work for Harkness. 
The art of making fine boots by hand 
is fast dying out. but in Wm. Hazel- 
ton we have one who knows well how 
such work should be done. Quiet 
man and good tradesman he and his 
excellent wife a famous nurse are 
much respected by a large circle of 

James Ward came to us from Perth 
in 1855. After making shift for a 
while in temporary quarters, he open 
ed his fcinshop in a new building 
which stood on the site now occupied 
by Dr. Connolly, whither also he 
brought as his bride, a daughter of 
James Stewart, a Second Line pioneer. 
About 1858, he purchased the site on 
which his brick block now stands, 
building there a shop and, later, a 
house. His business flourished for 
many years under his strict personal 
attention, as well as because he al 
ways acted on the principle that a 
mail s word should be as good as his 
bond. Three of his sons were trained 
to the business, but they all saw 
better openings in other lines, which 
took them away from the town, one 
of them to the States, two of them 
to the West, another to farming. 
In 1894 he built the first brick block, 
moving his house to the rear and 
still keeping on in the old shop till 
1900, when he built the remainder of 
the block, retired from the old busi 
ness but continued, on a more ex 
tensive scale, the coal trade which he 
had already handled for some years 
and in which he is still engaged. 
His summer recreation was farming 
on his holding on the Bonnechere 
Point road, within the corporation, 
whilst in winter he gave himself to 

curling with great zest and large suc 
cess. He has been an active Son of 
Temperance for 51 years; a school 
trustee about 45 years ; served several 
years as Reeve ; besides being often a 
councillor standing always for pro 
gress; a pillar in St. Andrew s church 
as Elder, manager and S.S. teacher. 
These tell how he was trusted ; and 
though, in fact, no one talked less, it 
became an understood thing, that no 
man would do more, or do it better, 
for the furtherance of the material or 
the .moral welfare of our community. 
The presiding genius of his home 
stood by him in all his work. To 
gether they made that home a pleasant 
nailing place for friends, whilst in 
coming strangers found there such 
hearty welcome as often did them 
good. It is a quiet place now, as 
over a year ago Mrs Ward was heav 
ily stricken with paralysis. Their 
youngest daughter, who was one of 
Canada s earliest "lady" Doctors a 
graduate of Queen s was for several 
years Superintendent of a Children s 
Home in Montreal, but now devotes 
herself to the care of the stricken 
mother, assisted by her other daugh 
ters, as well as by Mr Ward, which 
labor of love makes it to them a 
happy home still. 

John W. O Harro, a native of Perth, 
who had wrought for a time in Paken- 
ham, where he found Mrs O Harro, 
came to Renfrew to set up in business 
as a carriage maker about 1855. After 
working fora time, likely in the same 
shop in which Mr Dongall began, 
he removed to the site immediately 
south of Ward s, living in a small 
house behind the shop he there built. 
His business flourished, as he was an 
efficient workman, reached indeed, to 
large proportions in the palmy days 
of the near-by lumbering operations ; 
but in common with like businesses 
shrank in the later years when those 
operations were at a greater distance ; 
when, also, factories cut in more and 
more on hand-made work. 

By that time he had built a com 
fortable home on Argylft street, but 



soon his family began to scatter, 
several of his sons going to Chicago. 
Failing health, also, made the cares 
of business irksome and heavy. Ac 
cordingly, about 1893, he disposed of 
the whole property to T. Hynes, who 
built the brick block now standing on 
Raglan street. After an extended 
trip, visiting sons and relatives in the 
Western states, he settled down in a 
smaller house, where he lingered with 
us till about the end of the century ; 
Mrs O Harro remaining two or three 
years longer. He was a genial, chatty 
man, sufficiently energetic, and 
thoroughly reliable. For nigh forty 
years he was true to his pledge as a 
Son of Temperance and for about the 
same length of time was an active and 
consistent member of the Methodist 
Church. There was much sympathy 
in these matters between both Mr and 
Mrs O Harro and their long-time 
neighbors, the Wards. 

Turning north again we find that 
Robert Gordon, a native of Bristol, 
Que., who had been working some 
time as a blacksmith in Carleton 
Place, came to us about the close of 
1858. He opened business in the shop, 
north of the Bonnechere, which was 
built by A. R. McDonald. Remaining 
there only a few months he next es 
tablished himself in the blacksmith 
shop connected with Peter Bengali s 
carriage shop, no doubt doing most of 
the blacksmithing needed by Mr 
Dougall. There he remained till 1863, 
when he purchased the nearby site on 
which he built, first the house on the 
rear, then the shop on Raglan street. 
He had been keeping bachelor s hall 
in a house on the present site of the 
Baptist Churoh, but when the new 
house was in readiness he brought, as 
his bride, Miss Morphy, of Carleton 
Place, whose father had been one of 
the earliest settlers at " Morphy s 
Falls." This was the beginning for 
him of 23 happy years of home life in 
Renfrew, in which he greatly prosper 
ed in business built the larger house 
in which he still resides, and saw his 
family growing up around him, grow 

ing also in the esteem of the com 
munity. The passing of Mrs Gordon 
was the more .serious to him as he 
had early become almost totally deaf 
and depended much on her help. 
Accordingly, the following year, he 
retired from business, handing it over 
to his son Robert, then confining 
himself to gardening, reading, and 
enjoying himself in his own home, 
where his daughters, of whom there 
are three, have made life pleasant for 
him. But though a lonely man, he 
manages to keep himself well abreast 
of the times in knowedge of general 
and local affairs, being a keen politi 
cian with intelligent and advanced 
views; interested also in Town poli 
tics, and with a well digested fund of 
general information. Much interest 
has he in his church a true blue 
Presbyterian and, though neither in 
his own home nor in the church has 
he ever heard the voice of the last two 
ministers under whom lie has sat, he 
has given much inspiration to them 
by his notable regularity at Sabbath 
services, where as we know, he is one 
of those who worship in Spirit and in 
truth and is benefited thereby. His 
example in this respect has been most 
helpful and is but a sign and seal of 
the life so earnest, so upright, so 
helpful, which he has lived among us. 
Still hale and hearty, we may hope to 
have him beside us for many years. 
His brother, Alex. Gordon now of 
Pembroke, was with Mr Dougall as a 
carriage maker, from his beginning 
business in our town. After perhaps 
three years he went to Pakenliam, 
but becoming interested in lumbering 
operations he went, later, to Pem 
broke, where he has been successful. 
Further up the street, about where 
Stevenson s block now stands, was 
the log building where Stewart s gro 
cery was carried on for some time. 
He was a brother of Robert Stewart, 
of Perth. A pushing man, who stood 
well with the settlers, Stewart did a 
large trade and his grocery was not 
ably one of the busy spots in the later 
"fifties." Soon after he left the Vil- 



lage, the probability being that he 
finally established himself in business 
in the Western or Southern States. 

Passing the house and store of Win. 
Mackay already noticed we learn 
that in the fall of 1853, Joshua Mur 
phy, saddler, made his way from 
Lansdowoe to Perth by stage, thence 
footing it to Renfrew, which as was 
usual at that season, he found to be a 
sea of mud. His brother Edward 
joined him here in tiie following 
January. They made shift for a 
while in part of John Smith s (tan 
ner) then discarded log dwelling, 
boarding for a time with Mr Gibbons. 
In the spring, they secured the stone 
building next to Mrs Ross, where 
they kept shop and lived. Edward 
having married. Having prospered 
greatly, Joshua built in 1856, on the 
site next to Mackay s store, a com 
modious shop and dwelling. Edward 
turned his attention to farming, rent 
ing the Flaunt farm, but not scoring 
much of a success in that line, he 
soon removed to Portage-du-Fort, 
where he entered into business. 
Joshua continued to make progress, 
being, as is known, an active, push 
ing, reliable man. Marrying a Miss 
Wing in 1860. there was given them 
a son our Dr. Murphv and a 
daughter Mrs A. Lindsay ; then in 
1867, the mother died. Having mar 
ried again, in 1870, he continued in 
business other five years. At that 
time he became very deaf, which led 
him to sell the stock to Scott & Thom 
son and to retire to a farm at the foot 
of the pinnacle, where on a beautiful 
spot, he built a commodious home- 
house in which he lived until he re 
turned, a few years ago. to reside 
with the Doctor in part of the brick 
block which he had then built on his 
town property. His deafness barred 
him from taking part in outside af 
fairs with which, however, he always 
kept himself thoroughly in touch. His 
never-failing interest has been in the 
Methodist Church, of which he was a 
pioneer member, and with Mrs Mur 
phy s help, an active worker, as well 

as a large contributor. This like- 
minded pair have during all the years 
given their countenance and support 
to all good objects ; especially to all 
moral movements in our own com 

On the adjoining site was the home 
and shop of Joseph Oharbonneau, bet 
ter known, however, in those days as 
the place where Madame Oharbonneau 
retailed home-made confections, which 
were much favored by the children, 
supplying also, home-made bread to 
all and sundry. Later, the Charbon- 
neau home was on the Bonnechere 
Point road, where Madame had a con 
siderable market garden. Mr Murphy 
came into possession of ^his property 
also, and various lines oi business 
were carried on in it by his tenants, 
from the end of the sixties down to 
the time when his brick block was 

On the corner opposite the present 
Barnet block to the south James 
Airth, fourth sou of the pioneer, had 
built a combined house and shop 
about 1856, where he exercised his 
trade as a shoemaker. As he was a 
popular young man, with a large con 
nection, he developed quite a large 
business in hand-made work, to which 
he added by putting in a stock of 
ready-made footwear, on in the "six 
ties, being probably the first of our 
tradesmen in that line to make such a 
venture. His sister now Mrs Robert 
McLaren presided over his home 
with its sociabilities until about 
1863, when he married Miss Ophelia 
Wright, of Athens a sister of A. A. 
Wright, M.P. They spent four happy 
years together, but then Mr Airth 
was called away, leaving two child 
ren to be cared for by the soon wid 
owed young mother. These grew up, 
the daughter becoming the wife of 
Rev. Mr Walker, who was one of the 
pioneer ministers of the local Baptist 
Church. He was afterwards for 
years a missionary in the East Indies, 
where he and his young wife were 
most devoted and successful laborers. 
They returned to Renfrew when his 



health seriously failed, when again he 
took the local pastorate for some time 
when his strength had been somewhat 
restored ; but as he was forbidden to 
return to India, he eventually accepted 
a call to a more important field in 
Ontario, where he and his excellent 
and highly intelligent wife are now 
located. The son Henry was with us, 
holding the position of bookkeeper in 
the Creamery Co., but went out to 
take a situation elsewhere. Mrs Airth 
continued the business for a little 
time, but later turned her attention 
to fancy goods, and, after some years, 
married again ; at length she fell a 
victim to consumption. Mr Airth 
was not only a popular young man but 
also in his ripening years commended 
himself as a shrewd, intelligent, pro 
gressive business man,- who took more 
than passing interest in Village 
affairs. Thus, he was called to the 
Council and became Reeve before he 
was taken from us, at which time it 
was felt that a severe loss had been 
suffered by the community. 

Up the street, the store which had 
been occupied by Roderick and Geo. 
Ross in the early "fifties, was in 1857 
tenanted by Wra. Halpenny, a native 
of Lanark Co, Soon after coming he 
married Miss Bell, of Garleton Place, 
sister of A. W. Bell Their home 
was on Flaunt street, on the rear of 
the store site. After a few years Mr 
Halpenny built the store on Argyle 
st. where Mr Mills now resides, 
doing quite an extensive business 
there until the early "seventies," 
when he met with some reverses. 
He remained, however, with us, act 
ively engaged in the grain and other 
jobbing lines, until about the begin 
ning of the "eighties," when he went 
to Winnipeg, where he traded in wood 
and coal. His first wife died young, 
leaving him one sou John, now in 
the Western States. In a few years 
he married Susan, daughter of Rev. 
Geo. Thomson, whose tall figure and 
dignified bearing made her as notice 
able as her genial disposition made 
her attractive in our community. 

They were both much missed when 
they went from us. Mr Halpenny was 
a clever, energetic hard-headed bnsi. 
ness man, who interested himself in 
and promoted the development of the 
Village in many ways, standing on 
the progressive side and giving him 
self up with characteristic heartiness 
to the performance of the duties of 
Reeve, Councillor, Trustee and other 
offices which he held. An old and 
lonely man now, who has had sore 
bereavements, he lives with his son 
in Winnipeg. 

John Me Andrew s business stand in 
1850 had been transformed into a 
hotel, the nucleus of "the Dominion 
House," by the end of the period. It 
was kept by one Thibaudeau, whose 
wife was oae of the S ^tch Bush Liv 
ingstones. He did not remain there 
long, but removed to the then new 
building adjoining Muir s, to the 
north, where he Had a grocery and 
liquor store; there he died early in 
the "sixties. " 

Abraham Fraser (a Bagot boy) came 
first to Renfrew in 1852, working for 
some time as journeyman shoemaker 
with Wm. Gordon. In 1854, when 
he built opposite to the blacksmith 
shop on the road to the "Fair" 
grounds, he married a sister of Rob 
ert Drysdale, thus early securing the 
chief blessing of his life. He set up 
shop in his house, which, however 
passed later into John Smith s hands. 
Then he wrought in a small building 
belonging to Geo. Ross, near the 
Dominion House. Again he built a 
house on the Creek side, having his 
shop in the basement. This he sold at 
length to Dr. Freer. In 186B, he 
moved to Kincardine, whence he soon 
returned, at that time buying the 
"Briscoe" farm, on which he remain 
ed for 11 years. Returning to us, he 
built his present residence in Thom- 
sonville about 1878 and wrought in the 
small building which has long been 
Dr. Thacker s office. Becoming, like 
several of his brothers, a martyr to 
rheumatism, he left the bench some 
years ago, woiking as long as he 



could at whatever came in his way. 
Now he is bearing the burden of the 
years, but as this quiet, excellent 
pair go down the "brae" together, 
they do so in that contented, thankful 
spirit in which they have met all the 
ups and downs of the life that they 
have spent happily together. Their 
son Alex, is one of our enterprising 
merchants; William is his clerk. 
Two daughters are in the home. Other 
sons and daughters have homes in 
.listant parts. 

Mention should be made of the Ber- 
languet family, who were here in the 
"forties," though not continuously 
residing in the village. John Berlan- 
guet, sr. , was at the building of Mc- 
Intyre s stone store and dwelling, our 
information being that he did most of 
the inside finishing, for, though he 
was a self taught carpenter, he was a 
very proficient tradesman. He lived 
at one time in the house occupied by 
Dr. Carswell, but whether before or 
after the Dr. lias not been ascertained. 
John Berlauguet, jr., learned the shoe- 
makiug trade with Wm. Gordon, 
likely about 1852, married about the 
time he finished his apprenticeship, 
lived across the creek in a small house 
on Mclntyre s farm, continued to work 
here for some time and then went to 
some point west in our county where 
he continued many years. He return 
ed, however, in the "nineties," resid 
ing then in the suburb known as "King, 
ston. " His health was broken so far 
that he did not do much, but he lived 
there for some years. His widow and 
one daughter are still with us. He was 
a quiet, industrious, right-living man. 

Charles Holland, whose home was 
eventually opposite Halpenny s cor 
ner, was no doubt *.vith us engaged as 
a carrier between Farrell s wharf and 
the village ; a laborious business even 
after the Opeongo had been built ; 
and the man who took up the task 
deserved to prosper, as Holland did 
to a considerable extent. 

Mentioning the Opeongo reminds us 
of an episode which connects with 
this period. It was built as a colon 

ization road ; nothing more natural 
therefore than that as it was pushed 
through the back townships, the at 
tention of immigrants should be 
drawn to the field it opened up. Un 
fortunately the advantages were large 
ly overdrawn in a roseate pamphlet 
prepared by the late T. P. French, 
who was then a government agent, 
residing at Olontarf and afterwards a 
Post Office Inspector. This at least 
is the tradition. The result was 
that immigrants who came in con 
siderable numbers, were disappointed ; 
those who had means mostly fled the 
country, those who were poorer had 
to stay and make the best of it, which 
after the initial difficulties were over 
come was not so bad for them. Of 
those who returned some few, most 
ly English remained permanently in 
Renfrew. Mention may now be made 
of those who connect with this period. 
Henry Bellerby, who arrived in 1858, 
came from the city of York, in which 
he held the office of Sheriff, which 
tells that he had more than ordinary 
culture and intelligence. He had con 
siderable means, also, and it does not 
appear that he went up the Opeongo, 
even to explore. He rented the dwell 
ing part of Joshua Murphy s new 
building on the West side of Raglan 
street, where with his wife, who was 
much younger than he, and his wife s 
sister the prt-sent Mrs Joshua Murphy 
he remained whilst he looked about 
for a suitable location for farming, on 
which he was intent. At length he 
purchased the farm afterwards owned, 
in part, by Robert Carswell, and in 
part by Henry Airth. Whilst a house 
was being built on *;he site of Mr 
Barr s present residence, they lived 
in an old log house on the Henry 
Airth part. He farmed at great loss, 
partly because he was set on carrying 
out the hcme-land methods, partly be 
cause he was advised by interested 
parties to enter on fruitless but money 
scattering undertakings, which speed 
ily exhausted his means; no ordinary 
means could have stood the drain. 
Soon the farm was out of his hands, 




except a few acres around his house, 
and he had little means left. Friends, 
however, found some congenial oc 
cupation for him, as Town Clerk 
with the offices attached to it which 
along with the care of his garden and 
beautiful gmve, helped him to pass 
the time, not altogether unprofltably. 
Then, Mrs Bellerby opened our first 
select school for children, which of 
course could not be largely attended, 
but which many look back to with 
thoughtful remembrance of its in- 
fluenoe on morals and manners. Years 
passed ; her sister had married ; Mrs 
Beilerby s health was poor she was 
very lame for years; he was failing 
fast; very pathetic was it to see them 
in those days, though they had a com 
fortable home. In 1874 he was strick 
en with paralysis, which quickly end 
ed the career of this gentleman of the 
old school. Mrs Bellerby recovered 
her health to such a degree that she 
afterward^ taught for some 3 ears in 
our public school; then returning to 
England where she married again 
she lived till two years ago. Those 
who knew them well have a warm 
place in their hearts for them still. 
He came too late in life to this new 
land ever to thoroughly adjust himself 
to the different circumstances on which 
lie entered, but both he and Mrs Bell 
erby exerted a helpful influence in the 
community, and for their great worth 
they were highly esteemed. 

James Bromley was another who 
came in the emigration of 1858. 
He had been engaged in business in 
London as a Custom House agent and 
also as an agent for Sheffield and Bir 
mingham goods. He was in middle 
life when he came, having a number 
of children, for whose advancement 
in life he had been led to make the 
change to Canada. They lived for a 
short time in Mr Murphy s house, but 
soon went out to live on and cultiv 
ate John Brill s farm. Mr Bromley, 
however, soon found occupation in 
the village as assistant to Geo. Ross, 
having charge specially of the Post 
Office for several years. The famih 

then lived on the Beauchamp farm, 
now held by Malcolm McDermid, 
steadily engaged in perfecting their 
knowledge of Canadian farming 
methods, in which also they became 
quite proficient, his sous later settling 
on farms of their own in the vicinity 
of Renfrew. After 1864, when Geo. 
Ross s death caused the transfer of the 
Post Office to Mr Mackay, Mr Brom 
ley became agent for various Loan 
and Insurance Companies, doing con 
siderable work also as a conveyancer, 
for all which his early training and 
education fitted him. In these lines 
he continued doing a considerable 
busiaess until at length the infirmities 
of age laid him aside. Then he lived 
in retirement for some years, his long 
span of life ending in the "nineties." 
He was sufficiently interested in town 
affairs, though never taking any pro 
minently active part in them ; con 
tenting himself rather with activities 
on behalf of the Church of England, of 
which he was a devoted member. He 
scored at least a moderate success in 
the land of his adoption, and bv his 
affable bearing gathered around him 
a circle of attached friends who have 
not yet forgotten him. 

Richard Archer was another of the 
English contingent who, after look 
ing around for a time, settled in 
Renfrew. He long wrought a small 
farm within the village limits on the 
"Pinnacle" road. He also, or per 
haps, rather Mrs Archer and his sons, 
carried on quite an extensive baking 
and confectionery business on the site 
immediately south of the "Ottawa 
House" being the first in that line 
who continued for any length of 
time. Mr Archer s interest in the 
progress of the Church of England 
was even greater than that of his 
friends. Mr Bellerby and Mr Brom 
ley, it being by his exertions that the 
walls of the first church were set up, 
though for lack of expected support, 
lie had not the pleasure of seeing the 
edifice completed for some years. The 
family who grew up around Mr and 
Mrs Archer were much thought of by 



the young people of their day. 
Eventually they scattered to homes 
in other places, their loss being very 
distinctly felt as they went out from 
us one by one, as was that of Mr and 
Mrs Archer when they passed away. 

Thos. Morris came from Wales, 
spending a year at Arnprior before 
settling in Renfrew in 1858. He had 
learned well the trade of carpenter, 
and for forty years and more had a 
hand in much of the best work done 
in that line in our vicinity. Latterly 
he has been chiefly employed as Sup 
erintendent of Works in most of the 
large buildings that have been erected 
in our town, the general belief being 
that, as he never knew how to slight 
his own work, in anv particular, 
he might be relied upon to see 
that the work of which he has the 
oversight would be well done ; a well 
founded belief that. Confirmed and 
wary old bachelor that he is, this 
quiet man has lived a very retired 
and even lonely life amongst us, a 
very helpful life to the upbuilding of 
the town. There are a few friends 
who set much store upon his friend 
ship, because they know that he has a 
heart of gold and may be relied on at 
every turn. 

John Smith "Exchange" was 
with us in, at least, a large part of the 
"fifties," being towards the close of 
the period the bailiff and tax collect 
or. Afterwards, he seems to have 
been the manager of the brewery 
which stood near where Harkness 
tannery now stands. 

Perhaps he along with Pat Kelly 
had an interest in the "Dominion 
House" for a short time, likely after 
the brewery was burned. Then he 
was with "Pat" in the "British" for 
long, there beginning and cementing 
the long time fellowship of these 

About the end of the sixties, Smith 
went to the "Exchange Hotel," which 
continued in his charge for probably 
twenty years, and prospered greatly, 
especially after he married Mrs 
Wright. Then he retired from busi 

ness, but continued to reside here till 
after his last wife died, after which 
he spent most of his time with his son 
in Chicago. He lived to be very old 
and almost blind. Then his heart 
yearned for the quiet town, every 
corner of which he knew, and he came 
to end his days with Mrs McDowell 
his daughter whom, however, he out 
lived, dying only a year ago. 

William Harris was the Crown 
Lands Agent of this period. He ap 
pears to have been a land surveyor 
and a man of some intelligence, whose 
office, also, gave him a certain 
amount of influence in the early days. 
but little can be gathered about him 
at this writing. He planted his home 
on a romantic spot on the banks of 
the Bonnechere river above the pre 
sent O.P. R. bridge, where it long con 
tinued to stand as a deserted building 
a little log house in keeping with 
most of the home places of the early 

Our first lawyer as has been already 
noted, was one Elkanah Billings, who 
was, as it appears, one of the Billings 
family, near Ottawa, and whose wife 
was a sister of the late Chief- Justice, 
Sir Adam Wilson. He came here at the 
instance of the late Geo. Ross, tak 
ing hold for a time of the legal busi 
ness which Ross could turn in his 
direction. Here he came under the 
influence of the temperance move 
ment, connecting himself with the 
Sons of Temperance thus regaining 
some ground which he had perhaps 
lost. He was a clever man, who cul 
tivated a taste for Geological studies 
and investigations, whioli led to his 
being appointed to a position in the 
Geological Survey department under 
Sir Wm. Logan, which caused him to 
make his home in Montreal. 

Adam McTavish seems to have 
come to us from Perth about 1859, 
at which time he either built or 
rented the log shop opposite the 
O Connor property. Later, he built 
the shop and house on the gore 
where he wrought and lived till about 
the middle of the "seventies. " He 



was a good blacksmith and a kindly 
man, blessed with a good wife, tinder 
whose excellent training the family 
grew up, taking their places in life 
with great credit and success, his sons 
going west when Calgary was still a 
small place, his daughter being still 
with us, rhe present Mrs Wm. Mills. 
He died whilst yet a comparatively 
young man. 

The Misses Merrick, daughters of 
the Merrick family who had mills at 
the "Fourth Chute," were towards 
the end of the period doing business 
as milliners and dress-makers in the 
building on the corner opposite the 
present Handford block ; which was 
probably the first exclusive business 
in that line in the village. One of 
the sisters was married afterwards to 
John Smith Exchange but did not 
enjoy h^r married life many years. 
Their daughter, Ida, became the wife 
of Principal McDowell of the High 

There were a number of others 
mostly tradesmen, who were attracted 

to us at the time of the building of 
the mills. Many of them were "birds 
of passage, whose names even can 
not now be recorded. Some re 
mained for longer periods, whilst a 
few spent their lives with us. We 
have no reliable information, how 
ever, beyond some names, concerning 
even those who remained. 

It seems well, therefore, to close the 
series of biographical sketches in 
which it has been sought to make the 
citizens of the "fifties" known in 
some degree to their successors. It 
seemed due to them to set down 
briefly, some facts which certainly 
could not be easily gathered later, so 
that after a time it may at least be 
known who they were and what they 
did. Turning now from these sketches, 
it will be in order to continue the 
"Story" of Renfrew in the "fifties" 
in a narrative of the political, the 
municipal, and the general concerns 
in which these "pioneers" were in 
terested and played their part. 




Political, Municipal and General. 

A retrospective glance at the stage 
of Canadian development which was 
reached in 1850 may serve to introduce 
this part of the Story." There are 
man} things that in our days are 
deemed to be part of the necessities 
of business and everyday life, that 
were then done without and some of 
them not dreamed of as yet. The tal 
low candle held sway throughout the 
land, though its aristocratic wax 
relation no doubt had a place in the 
above-stairs apartments of the wealthy, 
whilst the evil smelling train oil 
lamp did duty in many places still. 
Joshua Murphy has a tale to tell of 
the all but impossibility of procur 
ing a s^ove in Renfrew in 1853, a 
state of affairs which was quite com 
mon in other communities, the open 
fire place, with its more or less per 
fect appurtenances of pokers, tongs, 
fore irons and swinging bar, being 
much iu evidence in the better class 
of log houses in the country districts, 
whilst the earlier shanties had central 
hearths of the "camboose" order, with 
an opening in the roof which let out 
the smoke. Both these methods were 
conducive to ventilation and health, 
which is more than can be said for 
our improved heating arrangements in 
the present day. When the big back 
log was in position in the chimney 
and a plentiful supply of beech or 
maple, varied by pine-knots, was at 
Hand, there was such bright cheery 
heating of the living room s we might 
envy--conducive, also, to dreams, 
visions and the poetic fancies of those 
who looked into the glowing embers or 
sat half hidden among the shadows, 
where Cupid often played pranks, send 

ing home his arrows stealthily. Bread 
was baked in kettles shanty fashion 
or in the clay-built ovens, standing 
outside the house, as is still done in 
many cases in Quebec wholesome, 
toothsome bread such as no baker can 
provide. These are samples of the 
changes which even this short time 
has wrought. Then also the outside 
work was still under the sway of the 
ox-team, the stone-boat, or similar 
conveyance, and the drag harrow. 
The horse age was hardly well beguu 
in Renfrew in 1850; there were few 
lumber waggons and Sampson Coombs 
two-wheeled cart was about the acme 
in the equipage class. As we have 
already noted, the village was in this 
period easily accessible from the sea ; 
indeed, bv the river steamers then ply 
ing on the St. Lawrence and Ottawa, 
these two water ways were giving 
access to a kind of double front in 
Ontario, along which the earlier set 
tlements lay, somewhat increased in 
the inlying District of East Central 
CanaJtt by the early construction of 
the Rideau Canal. Renfrew was near 
the Ottawa front, which was a very 
decided advantage to our freight and 
passenger traffic. Think of it, how 
ever, that in all Canada there was 
only one short line of Railway ia 1850, 
of which only nine miles lay north of 
the St. Lawrence River. Little won 
der that when the railway era began, 
as it did about 1852, it soon held, as 
we shall soe, a prominent place in the 
municipal discussions in our county 
and town. There were telegraph lines 
to a larger extent, but none came 
near us till much later than 1850. 
The telephone, the electric light, the 



various applications of alectricity to 
motive power, all these were as .yet 
nnthought of. We hardly realize our 
advantages. When we think of them 
at all, we can hardly understand how 
our fathers did without all these 
necessities of to-day. We even think 
that they must have found life slow, 
terribly slow and irksome. Let us 
save our pity, for it is doubtful if 
pit} is not more suited to our own 
age, when men drive and are driven, 
finding no time to rest amidst the 
pressing cares and demands of electri 
cally conducted business life. 

Turning from such reflections, we 
are apprised that in many points of 
view the year 18,50 ushered in great 
changes which touched us in common 
v ith other Canadian communities. A 
little of the personal is added in our 
case, as Sir Francis Hincks, who be 
came one of our landed proprietors 
and planned m?uy tilings for our 
benefit, which unfortunately were not 
carried out, had a large share in the 
wider changes of this transition per 
iod. He was Inspector-General (fin 
ance minister) in th? Baldwin-Lafou- 
taine administration, under whose 
auspices responsible government was 
gradually, and in face of many diffi 
culties, wrought out. It was not till 
1850 that the last vestiges of "Down 
ing street rule" were abolished. The 
Post Office Department then came 
fully into Canadian control, as did 
also the right of taxation of British 
goods without discrimination, which 
carried with it, however, the abolish 
ing by Britain of any discrimination 
on behalf of the colonies. For a year 
or two in the beginning of the decade, 
there was some commercial depression 
as a result of the changes. Hiucks, 
who became Pi hue Minister in 1851, 
however, set so vigorously to work 
that a period of great prosperity, fos 
tered by many progressive and far 
reaching movements, marked several 
successive years. In 1851 the first sod 
of the Northern Railway was turned 
at Toronto; in 1852 the Act incorpor 
ating the Grand Trunk Railway was 

passed, substantial subventions being 
granted by the Provinces to the Com 
pany. About 1855 the Great Western 
of Canada was also set afoot. All 
these undertakings being well sup 
ported by British capital, there result 
ed the most remarkable period of ex 
pansion and progress which had been 
experienced in Canada up to that time. 
The usual concomitants of expansion 
were also in evidence ; speculation 
was rampant; the locking up of means 
in town lots in the boom days wnich 
infested all the frontier hamlets was 
fostered by the general forgetfnlness 
that the large annual expenditure on 
railway building must soon cease. 
The financial storm-clouds soon began 
to gather and, before the end of the 
period, there was a very whirlwind 
of disaster, leading to the downfall ot 
the Bank of Upper Canada, to the 
serious .shaking of other monetary in 
stitutions and to multitudes of busi 
ness failures. Many a day passed be 
fore confidence was restored or the 
pall of depression was lifted. 

Hincks had also carried the Muni 
cipal Loan Fund Act. through the 
operation of which great improve 
ments were undertaken in many of 
our counties by means of loans from 
the Government, repayable on easy 
terms as to time and interest. Thus 
the United Counties of Lanark and 
Renfrew joined with the town of 
Brockville and Township of Elizabeth- 
town in securing a loan, witli which 
to assist the building of the Brock 
ville and Ottawa Railway, which 
was projected to run to Pembroke. 
Hincks was associated, also, with 
Lord Elgin in negotiating the Reci 
procity Treaty with the United States, 
which went into operation in 1854, 
opening np to Canada a near and ex 
panding market for her agricultural 
and other products. 

The County of Renfrew, including 
our own community, was from its 
solated position, peculiarly fortunate 
in this period. At the beginning we 
were not, large importers, thus the 
tariff changes disturbed us very little. 



We were to-j far away to be drawn 
into the whirlpool of speculation, 
the boom at the front did uot attract 
us. The solid advance in the country, 
through the construction of railways 
and large building operations, created 
a brisk demand at high prices for 
lumber, which inured to our benefit 
in better wages and good prices for 
supplies. The free intercourse with 

the United States wrought to like 
ends, with the further advantage tha*; 
the opening of an outside market 
checked a tendency to continuous low 
quotations in oar home market. Thus 
in every way we reaped benefit, as 
was shown by the fact that we only 
felt the indraught of the financial 
storm which raged from 1858 in the 
less isolated parts of the Province, 




As has been related, Hincks became 
interested as a landed proprietor in 
our Village in 1852 or 53, but 
whether it was a case of "coming 
events casting their shadow before" 
is not known. However, in the Re 
distribution Act of 1853, in which he 
increased the representation of each 
of the Provinces of Upper and Lower 
Canada from 42 to 65, he provided 
that Renfrew county, which had pre 
viously been united with Lanark as 
one constituency, should be. one of the 
new constituencies, whilst two mem 
bers were accorded to Lanark. His 
ministry had all through been in 
deep water, largely through the cool 
ness of the Radical or "Clear Grit 
wing of the Reform party, which led 
him to ask a dissolution in 1854. At 
that election he stood both for Ren 
frew and S. Oxford. Having been 
elected for both constituencies, lie 
chose to sit for Renfrew, thus becom 
ing nur representative until towards 
the close of 1855. when he retired 
from Canadian public life on his ap 
pointment as Governor of Barbadoes 
and the Windward Isles, his ministry 
having been defeated shortly after the 
election of 1854. 

There is a persistent tradition that 
lie interested himself in the Comity 
town matter, whilst he was our repre 
sentative, offering to use his influence 
on behalf of our village. That he had 
that end in view is evidenced, by his 
laying out on the plan of his property 
the plot on which the count} build 
ings should afterwards stand. It is 
said also, that his offer was not favor 
ed, even by our village magnates, on 
the score of the large outla} that 
would be needed to provide suitable 
buildings, as well as the large cost for 
sustaining officials. In these views, 
the remote communities, especially in 

the north, shared so largely that 
nothing was done at that time. Such 
is the tradition, but how much truth 
is in it is difficult to ascertain. This 
can be said, however, that if Hiucks 
made such an offer and there was 
hesitation in accepting it, those in 
Renfrew who hesitated had sufficient 
cause for bitter regret before many 
years passed. 

Hincks retirement necessitated a 
bye-election, at which John Supple, of 
Pembroke, won in a three-cornered 
contest participated in by J. L Mc- 
Dougall and (the afterwards Hon.) 
Alex. Morris. Politics had littl^ to 
do with this result. Pembroke and 
the upper townships were from that 
time arrayed against Renfrew and its 
adjoining townships the first move 
being then made in the prolonged con 
test between these rival villages for 
the possession of the county town. 

Renfrew, as we shall see, was hand 
icapped from the beginning by the 
fact that other places in t .e south 
were seeking the same prize. At this 
election, whatever mixture of politics 
there was in the situation militated 
against Renfrew, as Mr McDougall 
was a Reformer, which fact turned 
parr, of the southern vote to Mr Mor 
ris, who was a Conservative. 

At the general election of 18H7, Mr 
M jDougall won in a straight contest 
with Mr Supple. It appears, how 
ever, that there were grave irregular 
ities which made it almost certain 
that, in the event of a protest to be 
tried by inimical committee of the 
Assembly, he would be unseated and 
mulcted in large costs, though he had 
no personal connection with the ir 
regularities. Anticipating this result, 
he resigned at once, whereupon trie 
Hon. Mr Cayley, a member of the 
Cabinet, who had failed to secure a 



seat at the general election, contested 
the bye-election in Renfrew, defeat 
ing Mr R. R Smith, a Brnmley farm 
er of some influence in municipal 
affairs and interested in securing the 
locaton of the county town at Doug 
las. There was much commotion and 
ill-feeling engendered by Mr Mc- 
Dougall s resignation and, for the 
time being, the forces favorable to 
Renfrew village were rent by such 
dissensions as led to almost loss of 
hope of securing the prize which had 
seemed measureably within reach at 
an earlier period. Hon. Mr Cayley 
sat for Renfrew until the dissolution 
of 1861. Being a Conservative and 
owing more to the northern part of 

the county than lie did to the town 
ships that took their lead from Ren 
frew, he was quite naturally inclined 
to favor Pembroke, where politics arid 
local differences were all subordinated 
to the common weal. Thus, when 
the location of the county town was 
referred to the Government of which 
he was a member, he no doubt gave 
ear to the astute and united lobbyists 
from Pembroke, so securing the de 
cision in their favor. What other 
course could have been expected of 
the politician? Who can blame the 
men who could sink differences and 
put up their fight together for their 
own town. 



Before 1850, the county of Renfrew 
had been the leai=t considerable unit 
in the old Bathurst district, the 
whole of Upper Canada, and perhaps 
Lower Canada as well, being in 
earlier days parcelled out into terri 
torial districts including several coun 
ties. Each district had its chief town, 
where were the Court house, the 
Gaol, and the Registry office ; where, 
also, the district officials had their 
headquarters and where there was 
generally a Grammar school, which 
was specially subsidized. 

The chief town of the Bathurst dis 
trict was Perth, which in earlier 
days was a much more important 
place than By town (Ottawa). The 
Baldwin -Lafoutaine administration 
had passed an Act, late in the 
"forties," discontinuing the District 
arrangement, for which counties or 
unions of counties were substituted, 
this new arrangement coining into 
force from the beginning of 1850. 
Lanark and Renfrew were thus organ 
ized as united counties, with Perth as 
the county seat and by far the most 
important town in the jurisdiction, in 
fact the only town, for none of its 
present rivals had then reached even 
the dignity of an incorporated village. 
It is of interest to note that at the 
outset, the township of Pakeuharn 
was part of the county of Renfrew, 
whilst Blythtield, which had been in 
Lanark up to the last meeting of the 
District Council had been then de 
tached and united with Ba -ot for 
municipal purposes ; Bagot having 
previously been united with McNab. 

The minutes of the first meetings 
of the County Council at Perth, in 
January 1850, record the following as 
the municipalities whose Reeves 
were representatives from the county 
of Renfrew, viz: Pakenham, Wrn. 

McAdam ; McNab, James Morris, jr. ; 
Bagot and Blythfield, Gerrard Mc- 
Crea ; Tlorton and Ross, John Bur- 
well ; Admastou and Bromley, Blias 
Moore; Westmeath. Stafford and 
Pembroke, Alexander Moffatt. In 
the county of Lanark there were nine 
organized municipalities, of which 
the township of Drummoud was re 
presented by a Reeve aud Deputy 
Reeve. Pertli was a town, separate 
from the counties and not represented 
in the Counties Council, though it 
was the county seat. The first warden 
was Robert Bell, of Carletou Plac<\ 
he Reeve of Beckwith, who wast 
afterwards tor many years the member 
for North Lanark. W. R. Berford, of 
Perth, was elected as Clerk ; Thos. M. 
Ravenhurst of Perth as Treasurer, aud 
Malcolm McPherson, as Surve3 7 or of 

At the initial meeting of the Coun 
ties Council, James Morris introduc 
ed aud carried through a Memorial to 
the Goveruor-in -Council, "praying 
that a Grammar School shall be es 
tablished in the Village of Renfrew." 
It is recorded, also, that by the June 
meeting, the prayer of the memorial 
had been granted. There were diffi 
culties to be overcome, especially with 
regard to the accommodation first 
provided, against which the Inspector 
protested vigorously, but from these 
beginnings the first secondary school 
in the County has always maintained 
its position, being now the Collegiate 
Institute of which we are so justly 
proud. The other educational matters 
of this period having been already re 
corded by the previous narrator, need 
not be further referred to here. 

At the June meeting, a memorial 
was prepared and forwarded praying 
for the establishment of a Crown 
Lands Office in the Village of Ren- 


frew, which was also granted, Win. 
Harris being iu clue time appointed 
agent. The only other matter that 
nearly concerned our Village in that 
year was the dissolving of the union 
of the Townships of Korton and Ross 
which was provided for at the October 
meeting, so that from the beginning 
of 1857 each Township became a 
separate municipality. 

The initial meeting of the Counties 
Council :n 1851 brought further re 
cognition to our Village, as it was 
determined to institute a Board of 
Public Instruction for the County, 
with headquarters in Renfrew. Of 
this Board the late Geo Ross was 
secretary for a number of years, with 
Rev. Geo. Thomson as Chairman. 
At the June meeting of that year, a 
memorial was prepared and forwarded 

to the Government "concerning the 
building of a road from the Ottawa 
river, through the Township of Hor- 
ton and Renfrew Village, then west 
ward to the big Opeongo Lake, and 
by connections beyond, opening a 
route to the Georgian Bay." This 
road was carried far to the west of us 
during this period, though it never 
became a land route to Georgian Bay. 
Our Village profited much by the 
opening of this Opeougo road, as it 
was a main route for the forwarding 
of lumbermen s supplies as well as 
the open, and for long, the only way 
by which settlers could do their 
trading arid make purchases for sup 
ply of home needs, nil which inured 
to the advantage of our merchants 
and traders. 




At that June session, also, we find 
the first mention made of the division 
of the United counties as James 
Morris introduced "a memorial to the 
Gov< r ior-in-Couucil praying for the 
establishment of a provisional council 
for rhe County of Renfrew " The 
Act auent the separation of Counties 
as we are to understand made pro 
vision that the Government should 
decide on the advisability of such 

Then if satisfied they issued a pro 
clamation, appointing that on a cer 
tain date a Provisional Council con 
sisting of the Reeves of the various 
lesser municipalities should be conven 
ed at a stated place in the County to 
be separated. These would continue 
members, however, of the United 
Counties Council as well as of the Pro 
visional Council until County build 
ings and other accessories should be 
provided, whereupon by another Pro 
clamation the separation would be 
finally consummated. At this time 
the Lanark members of the Counties 
Council where not in sympathy with 
Mr Morris move for separation, nor 
does it appear that there was unani 
mity among the Renfrew members 
who were probably deterred by con 
siderations of the expense. The result 
was that Mr Morris withdrew the 
memorial on the ground that "So 
many of the Renfrew Keeves were 
absent. " 

An appreciable s jep in the direction 
of separation was taken in 1854, when 
the County of Renfrew was accorded 
a Registry Office by the Government 
whilst Hiucks was still in power. 
James Morris being appointed Regis 
trar, with his office near Renfrew, a 
step which was on the whole favor 
able to Renfrew aspirations, though 
the erection of a building in the vil 

lage, which was probably what was 
in view, would have been more de 
cisive. Hincks went out of power 
immediately after, so there was 
nothing further done. Another step 
followed in 1855, though one wonders 
that it was not taken at the instiga 
tion of J. L McDougall, then Reeve 
of Hortou. 

Mr Gerrard McCrae of Bagot, moved 
to "memorialize the Governor-iu- 
Couucil to separate the County of 
Renfrew for nil judicial purposes." 
Ther? was no result, from tins move, 
however, as th<- disinclination of the 
Lanark member.-, fir- tears of the 
north .-ii:,i cne coyness of Renfrew, all 
combined to set it aside. 

Incidentally, the next steps taken 
were in the line of "jockeying for 
position" on the County Town issue 
by Pembroke and Renfrew. In 185(5, 
Pembroke obtained recognition from 
the Counties Council as a police vil 
lage, which status was never sought 
by Renfrew. But. in 1857, a move 
ment was made to secure incorpora 
tion for Renfrew as a full-fledged vil 
lage and separate municipality which 
movement was successful, the result 
being that in obedience to the Gov 
ernor-General s writ, dated 27th July 
J858, the first election of the Village 
Council was held on August sixteenth 
of that year. Immediately, Pembroke 
sought and obtained similar status, 
which again set these rivals on equal 
ferms. At this stage, John Smith was 
chosen as our Reeve, which at least 
brought a strong man upon the scene 
of conflict. 

In January 1859, Mr R. R. Smith 
moved, seconded by Mr Paris, "that 
with a view to ascertain the feeling 
in favor of separation, a census of the 
County of Renfrew county be taken," 
which was opposed by John Smith, 


Felix Deviue (then of Bagot) and town, with a view to petition the 

Hiokey (of Wilberforce and Grattan) Legislature for an Act of separation, 

and apparently lost. In June, it was but we have no account at hand of 

arranged that the Renfrew Reeves the proceedings of that meeting, iior 

should meet to determine, if possible, was any further progress made in this 

on the necessity for separation and period, 
to settle the question of the County 




The whole country was concerned 
about Railway m;ttters at the begin 
ning of this period, the id^a being 
fostered by an Inter-Provincial Ooii 
ference, in which the project was 
discussed of an Intercolonial road. 
The time for that undertaking had 
not yet come, but the Hincks admin 
istration soon after took effective 
steps towards the initiation of the 
Grand Trunk system. Accordingly, 
in the October 1851 meeting of the 
Counties Council, the town of Perth 
asked co-operation in making a pre 
liminary survey of a route between 
Perth and Kingston, the idea being 
that; the projected trunk road should 
run from Montreal to Kingston, not 
by the front route afterwards select 
ed, but by the central route ro Perth 
and thence to Kingston. The Coun 
ties made a grant of $400 which, 
however, was not used likely because 
it was learned that it was hopeless 
to expect that the Central route 
would be chosen. In 1852, a charter 
was sought for a railway from Pres- 
cott to the Georgian Bay via Perth. 
At the same time a more practical 
step was taken by petitioning the 
Government to grant a subsidy of $300, 
000 to the Prescott and Bytown Rail 
way, the further intention being that 
the projected Grand Jet. Railway 
from Montreal to the Ottawa should 
be induced to head for Kemptville, 
thenoe to Smith s Falls, onward 
through thd counties to the Ottawa 
River at Arnprior and eventually to 
Pembroke. These were tentative ideas 
which had little hope of fulfilment 
but, in 1853, communications passed 
between the Counties and the Town 
of Brocbville as "to co-operation in 
building a Railway from Brockville 
through Smith s Falls, Carelton Place, 
Almonte and Pakenham to the mouth 

of the Madawaska and on by the most 
practicable route to Pembroke ;" "with 
a brand) from Smith s Falls to 
Perth" being afterwards added. As 
the result of negotiations, the Coun 
ties determined to borrow from the 
Municipal Loan Fund the sum of 
$800,000 which was to be secured by 
debentures issued by the Counties 
the agreement with the Railway 
Company being that the principal and 
interest shoula be met by the Company 
out of their anticipate-! revenue. 
This agreement had the unanimous 
consent of the Reeves of Renfrew Co. 
and when submitted to a vote of the 
ratepayers was immediately ratified. 
The debentures were issued and placed 
in the Bank of Upper Canada, to be 
drawn as needed for the carrying on 
of the work. Doubt and suspicions 
apparently soon arose concerning the 
Company s ability to execute the con 
tract, which led J. L. McDougall in^ 
1854, to secure a Committee "to in 
vestigate all acts in connection with 
the Railway and to publish all trans 
actions in that respect in one of the 
newspapers, for allaying of anxiety on 
this matter in the Counties." The 
Committee reported that everything 
was "all right," which was so far 
the case that the papers were correct 
ly drawn. 

It may be mentioned that the 
Counties of Leeds and Grenville held 
back from assisting the Company, but 
Brockville town and the adjoining 
township of Elizabeth town came to 
their aid by a proportionately large 
loan from the same source as the 
Counties. Thus, in 1854, was set 
agoing the Brockville and Ottawa 
Railway, the speedy completion of 
which was assured on paper, and for 
a while, our Village had visions of 
the rich advantages which might ac- 



crue in the course of two or three 
years from snch a means of access to 
the outside world. It is hardly neces 
sary to record the series of delays, 
failures on the (Company s part to pay 
even the interest, eventual failure of 
the original Company and its con 
tractors, and ether disasters which 
followed. Suffice it to say, that 
though the Railway reached Perth 
and Almonte in 1859, it did not touch 
Renfrew till 1873, nor would it have 
come to us even then had not further 
subsidies been provided, but of this 
phase it will be better to write when 

the "seventies" period is reached. It 
may be added that, in disappointment 
at the results, Renfrew County made 
an effort to be released from respons 
ibility for the debentures issued, but 
without success, tnough eventually 
the Ontario Government made arrange 
ments which relieved this and many 
other Counties of the incubus of the 
accumulated arrears of principal and 
interest due the Municipal Loan Fund 
on equitable and somewhat easy terms, 
but at the loss of their interest in 
"The Clergy Reserves Fund." 




The matter of Renfrew County 
Roacis and bridges continued to be 
discussed throughout the period. 
Besides the Opeongo road which has 
been already mentioned, Mr Faichuey 
s a cured in 1853 the passing of a 
Memorial to the Goveruor-in-Counci], 
"as to aid for a road by the south 
side of the Bonnechere to Eganville," 
which road was afterwards extended 
and became a highway for carrying 
supplies to the upper readies of the 
Bonuechers, thus greatly henefitting 
onr Village. In other directions, 
also, such as improving rhe main 
ros*ds to Pakenham and opening the 
Bellamy road from White Lake into 
the County of Lanark, helpful progress 
was made. One wonders, however, to 
find that a very necessary adjunct to 
these roads was not favourably enter 
tained, as help was denied to the 
building of a safe and suitable bridge 
over the Madawaska at Burnstown. 

In 1853, extensive forest fires raged 
from Horton to Westmeath, destroying 
many houses, barns and bridges in 
their course. Government was appeal 
ed to for assistance for the sufferers 
and for help in bridge building. The 
Counties Council, not seeming to real 
ize the extent of the disaster, would 
grant no more than $800, though 
Reeves Faiohney. McCrea and others 
pleaded strenuously for at least double 
that amonne. The suffering continued 
long, in Westmeath especially, which 
was then in the early stages of settle 

In 1855 Mr J. L. McDougall, then 

eeve, was appointed bv the Coun 
ties Council, as Chairman of a C mi- 
mittee. co-operating wi h the Pro 
vincial Committee, headed by Hon. 
Jas. Skead. in promoting a "Patriotic 
Fund" in connection with the Crim 
ean War. When at the end of the 

year, the war was gloriously conclud 
ed there were civic demonstrations 
which in their way were quite as en 
thusiastic as those which marked the 
completion of the Boer war. In both 
of these matters our village partici 
pated and set up memorial of their 
lively interest in the war by renam 
ing some of our streets. 

In the same year, a memorial was 
forwarded to both branches of the 
Legislature "denouncing the liquor 
traffic and praying for a prohibitory 
liquor Act, " which shows that the 
dnep interest then taken in temper 
ance in our village was part of a 
widespread movement. 

We may even think that our nouu- 
ties were in the van, for, in 1856, our 
friend, R. R. Smith, of Bromley, pro 
posed in the council that a plebiscite 
for the counties should be ordered to 
be taken by the assessors, an advanced 
idea which was, however, defeated by 
a vote of 18 t > 16. In 1856, also, a re 
solution favoring the Ottawa Ship 
Canal project was passed, whilst in 
the following year a resolution declar 
ed it to be "advisable that the Hud 
son s Bay territory should be incor 
porated with Canada." It may be 
noted that the Counties Council not 
only favored economy and retrench 
ment in their own field of action, but 
undertook b} solemn resolutions to 
rebuke the Government for their ex 
travagance, though their zeal in that 
regard does not seem to have pro 
duced results, no answer being record 

It is interesting, as showing the 
progress of the country, to compare 
the revised assessments of 185:3 and 
1860, the latter being the second year 
after the villages weie incorporated, 
the former being the year after con 
siderable changes had been made in 



the grouping of the townships and the 
detach iug of Pakeuhain from Renfrew 
County, as also the time when it is re- 
corded that, "as it has been ascertain 
ed that there were at least 70 settlers 
in the uusurveyed lauds west of Grat- 
t;in, Wilbert nrce and Pembroke, there 
fore the Council requests the Govern 
ment to institute * survey in that 



Pembroke tp. 


Pembroke village 
Bagot, Ely Mi Held 

aud Brough m 







Hortou including 

Renfrew village 




MeNab, (iucl. 


Alice & Fraser 
Petawawa, &c. 
Grattan & Aigoua see 
Sebastapol & Griffith 
Brudeuell, &c. 


40, 000 

see note 








93, 340 

$693,700 $1,553,393 

Wilberforce and Grattan, though 
organized in 1852, had not yet returned 
their roll iu June. Likely Alice and 
Fraser were still united with Stafford 
as one municipality in 1852. 




Until 1850, the various townships 
appear to have ordered their affairs, 
largely, at an annual meeting of rate 
payers convened by warrant of two 
Justices of the Peace, at which meet 
ing three commissioner? wf-re appoint 
ed to oversee the carrying ont of 
matters ordered to be attended to 
throughout the year. The Clerk, 
Treasurer, Assessor, Collector and 
other minor officials were all appoint 
ed at the same meeting. Thus, in 
1849, the Annual Meeting of the Town- 
ship of Horton. including the village 
of Renfrew, appointed as commission 
ers. .Tohn McNab. who acted as chair 
man. John Burwell and Thos. O Neil ; 
Clerk and. as it appears. Treasurer, 
Jas. Johnston : Assessor. Joseph 
Knight; Collector Wm. Burton, er. . 
Street Surveyor for Renfrew. Wm. 
Faichney. The business as far as 
Renfrew was concerned consisted in 
instructing Mr Faichney to make 
necessary repairs to the Smith s Creek 
hridare"at the least possible expense," 
the expenses to be provided for from 
the Statute labour monies coming 
from the village, with leave, however, 
to expend part of the same on the vil 
lage roads. The Treasurer s accounts 
for the year ending June 1849 phow 
receipts. $2806; Expenditure. $22 98 ; 
Balance. 8 cts . with an outstanding 
order of $2 due to the Clerk. 

The Munioinal Act. which created 
Counties and Counties Councils, also 
provided for the incorporation of 
Townships, or United Townships, as 
subsidiary municipalities, with Coun 
cils as at present, except that Reeves 
were at first chosen by the Councillors 
themselves, the appointment of offi 
cials being also vested In the Coun 
cils. Under this new Act. the town 
ships of Ross and Horton, including 
Renfrew, were united HS a municipal 

ity, the first election for which was 
held by E. Billings, Returning Offi 
cer, on January 7, 18oO. Nine candi 
dates were nominated, of whom it is 
recorded "that they came forward in 
a gentlemanly manner and delivered 
most eloquent s eeches. which was a 
cause of triumph to all the electors 
present. " The voting proceeded im 
mediately, resulting in the election 
of Roderick Ross. John Burwell. Ed 
ward Farrell. John McNab and J. L. 
McDougall These met on January 
21st. chose John Burwell as Reeve, 
elected Jas. Johnston, Clerk ; Wm 
Blair. Assessor for Ross: Joseph 
Knight, Assessor fnr Horton; Wm 
Burton, sr . Collector; Henry Airtli, 
sr . Treasurer ; J S. Harper, P L S. 
and John McNanghton, P. L S., 
Surveyors; with E Billings as Sup 
erintendent of Schools. 

It may here he premised that it is 
not proposed to record township trans 
actions, unless they refer to the village 
or to matters which were vital to its 
welfare and progress, such as the 
opening or improving of main roads 
which converge at Renfrew, or tended 
to turn traffic in its direction. It will 
be readilv understood that >it the first 
meetings of Council they would be 
hampered by the utter lack of funds 
to expend on desirable improvements. 
The modern methods of financing in 
such a position would not have been 
seriously entertained by those econo 
mical gentlemen who found themselves 
with an empty treasury They made 
shift, for the time being, by passing a 
statute labor Act which provided, 
also, that a certain cash payment 
might be made in lien of a day s 
work. Very carefully was the statute 
labor laid out for the first year, in 
order that some very necessary im 
provements might go on. The whole 



of the village labor (or cash equiva 
lent) was alloted for village purposes 
this year, a part of it being specialty 
designated to improve the road to 
Admastou between Carswell s Hill 
and the British Hotel. It may as 
well be said here that, in following 
years a similar disposition was usually 
made of the village statute labor, 
special portions being designated 
to some of the roads leading into the 
townships. The bridge over "Smith s 
Creek" being declared to be "unsafe 
and disgraceful," it was determined 
to have plans prepared by Mr Harper, 
tenders called for and building to 
proceed at once. The question of 
financing this undertaking, though it 
was to be gone into "with the least 
possible expense." occasioned lengthy 
consideration but was at length solved 
by appropriating "the gross taxes of 
the village for this year and such 
part of next year as may be found 
necessary, plus the receipts from 
Tavern licenses," for this purpose. 
There was some timouronsness about 
going even so far into debt, however, 
which led to delay in entering into 
the contract, which was awarded to 
Mr Faichney. Thus, the work was 
not begun till 1851, when, on its com 
pletion, the funds were in hand to 
pay the contractor. A road was con 
sfcituted, connecting with the - mill 
road," and extending from John 
McNab s corner on the 5th line to 
Castleford (afterwards called the 
Thomson Road,") which was ordered 
to be opened during the following 
year, being financed by the appropria 
tion of two years statute labor of per 
sons living on said road, together 
with the amount received from E. 
Burke, of Bouuechere Point, for his 
Tavern license. A road from Renfrew 
by way of the "Pinnacle," through 
the "Garden of Eden," to Cobdeu 
was proposed, but eventually was 
postponed, which delayed its building 
for a long time, as at the end of the 
year Ross township for whose benefit 
it had been projected was sepsrate-l, 

Hortou becoming a distinct munici 
pality in 1851. 

The tax rate for the year for Coun 
ty, school and all municipal purposes 
was struck at \}< cts. on the dollar. 

Separate accounts had been kept for 
the United Townships, those from 
Hoi ton showing receipts, 1339.10 ; Ex 
penditure, $167.!>7i^; Balance $171.- 
12)^, which must have been peculiarly 
gratifying to Mr McDougall, who had 
zealously wrought on the side of 
economj 7 throughout the year. It also 
made the building of the Smith s 
Creek bridge more certainly possible 
for the next year, and gave a balance 
to begin with. Evsry farthing told 
in those days. 

For 1851. the Council was 
composed of Roderick Ross (chosen 
Reeve), J. L McDougall, John 
Burwell, Elliot Johnston and Win. 
Richards. Under a new Act, Wm. 
Burton, sr. , Peter Mclutyre and 
John Smith were elected also as In 
spectors of Houses of Public Enter 
tainment. The principal officials were 
reappointed ; but Henry Airth, sr. , 
having resigned, John McNab was 
selected later as Treasurer. The work 
laid out in the former year went on, 
the only addition being the expendi 
ture of 30 shillings plus statute labor 
on the straightening of the road from 
R. Leitch s to the Ottawa, and statute 
labor expended on the road to J. 
Gibbons farm. With the advice of 
the Inspector, a by-law regulating 
Houses of Entertainment was passed, 
permitting three Taverns to be licensed 
in the village and four in the rest of 
the township, besides licenses for the 
sale of ale. wine and cider; setting 
$20 as the fee in the village, over what 
went to Government, and $20 in the 
township, covering the Government 
dues, whilst for the minor licenses 
$P3 was the fee. No groceries might 
be sold in the same house and all bars 
must be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. 
week days and all day on Sundays. 
Accommodation for travellers and 
stabling were required and frequent 



inspection providad for. Towards the 
end of the year the Inspectors reported 
that Tavern keepers frequently sold 
after hours, on Sundays, also to in 
toxicated persons (which was strictly 
forbidden) and that "some young men 
in this place are going completely to 
ruin; 1 which led-tne Council to ad 
vise the Inspectors to do their duty 
better, so putting an end to these 
evils. The appointment by Govern 
ment of an "Inspector of beef and 
pork" was secured, as also a grant 
for carrying mail weekly between 
Renfrew and Bounechere Point. The 
general tax rate was }/^ cent on the 
dollar this year, with a special rate of 
3% mills for and on School Section 
No. 3. 

In 1852, J. L. McDougall (chosen 
Reeve,) Thos. Knight, jr., Wm. 
Jamiesou, E. Farrell and T. Costello 
were elected Councillors and Wm. 
Dickson, John Churchill and Henry 
Airth, sr. , Inspector of licensed 
Houses. Officials were, R. R. Wilson, 
Clerk; Jas. McLaren Assessor; W. 
Burton, sr. , Collector; H. Airth, sr. , 

It was determined to increase the 
number of tavern licenses to be issued 
for the village to "four or as many 
as may be deemed necessary." Also 
to straighten the Admaston road, 
which was added to the beat of the 
village pathmaster. Grants were 
made for plastering and completing 
the Grammar School House ($70) and 
for equipment of the same (flfi. ) 
Further expenditures were made on the 
Burwell s Creek bridge and the road 
to the Ottawa River on the north 
side. An appropriation of $240 wa.$ 
made for rebuilding the Flat Rapids 
bridge, which had been swept away. 
The tax rate was again )^ cent, on the 
dollar for all purposes. 

In 1853, W. N. Faiclmey (Reeve) 
Duucau Melutyre, W. Richards. R. 
Eady and Thomas O Neil were sleet 
ed Councillors, with Philip Thomson, 
Wm. Groves and Robert McCrae, In 
spectors Jas. Jo!m?ton was ap 

pointed Clerk ; W. Burton, sr. , Col 
lector; John McNab, Treasurer. Also, 
during the year John McNab was 
appointed Surveyor, and George Ross, 
issuer of Tavern licenses. It would 
appear that certain grants made to 
Renfrew schools and other acts of the 
former Council had raised some feel 
ing, as legal advice was taken on the 
subject. A by-law dividing the 
township into wards passed, but was 
not acted on at next or any election. 
Part of the appropriation to the Flat 
Rapids bridge was rescinded. Large 
grants were made to roads in the out 
lying parts of the township, but a 
new road from Renfrew to the East 
was not entertained. A township lib 
rary was instituted with a grant of $50. 
As the result of all this liberality, 
which seems to have been wise on the 
whole, the tax rate was ^ cents on the 
dollar. The only other noteworthy do 
ing was the increase of licenses for 
Taverns in the village to $30, which, 
however, included Government dues. 

In 1854, J. L. McDougall. Reeve, 
Wm. Watt, R. Eady, T. O Neil and 
D. Melutyre were elected Council,- 
lors, with John Burns, Thos. Knight, 
sr. , and Philip Thomson, as Inspectors. 
All the principal officials were re-ap 
pointed. Mr O Neil soon after died, 
when Ed. Farrel was elected to fill 
the vacancy. A new road angling 
from the Bonuechere Bridge, through 
the Hiucks section (to replace an older 
roa,d), was constituted, the opening of 
the same to be defrayed from Hindis 
taxes ; also $10 to be expended on re 
pairing the bridge over Smith s 
Creek, besides which the statute labour 
of the village was granted for use on 
the streets and the roads leading into 
the villagfi. The tax rate was levjed 
at ) cent on the dollar. John Ran- 
kin, merchant, Renfrew, was licensed 
as an auctioneer, paying 20 for same 
for one year ; apparently the first so 
licensed in the township. School sec 
tion No 5 was formed by dividing 
No. 2. 

In 1855, the councillors elected were 



J. L. McDougall (Reeve) Ed. Farrell, 
W. Watt, R. Eady aud H. Airtli, sr ; 
the Inspectors elected were, Dun. 
Ferguson, Thos. Knight, sr. , and T. 
Clark, The principal officials were 
re-appointed. An assessment of 1)^ 
mills on the dollar was proposed, 
specially on behalf of widows and 
orphans of soldiers who fell in the 
Crimean war, to be given through the 
"Patriotic Fund," but, on submitting 
the same to a public meeting of the 
ratetpayers, it was not endorsed for 
the reason that the Fund had been 
so largely supported in other ways 
that taxation is unnecessary. " $400 
were appropriated to improving the 
road from Renfrew to Farrell s land 
ing and arrangements made to open a 
subsidiary road in the direction of 
Bouuechere Point. More attention 
was also given to the various roads 
leading into the village, in fact the 
activity in the village in consequence 
of the opening of the Hiucks section, 
the building of the mills and, most 
of all, the interest taken in these 
matters by Wm. Watt opened a new 
era as far as roads were concerned, 
an era in which large balances on 
hand were not so much thought of as 
the comfort and convenience of the 
community. Further, not only were 
grants carried and by-laws passed but 
also speedy action was taken to carry 
on the work. Accordingly the tax- 
rate was raised to % cent on the dol 
lar for all purposes, which was in 
part accounted for by the railway 
rate, which then appeared for the 
first time. The improved road to the 
Ottawa being completed, several sec 
tions of the old Seeley, Opeongd and 
Johnston roads were closed. 

In 1856 the councillors were Wm. 
Watt (Reeve) Edward Farrell, R. 
Eady, jr., T. Knight, sr. , and D. 
Mclntyre ; the Inspectors being Thos. 
Knight, R. Eady, sr. , and Phil. 
Thompson ; with the s^me officials 
Action was ordered as to a lock-up 
and court room in the village which 
action was taken by requesting assist 
ance from the Counties Council, who 

refused, thus delaying the matter. 
The lower part of what was the 
Orange hall was leased for three years 
as a Town Hall and Court Room. The 
rearranging of School Sections was 
determined on, which resulted in 
eight sections and union sections 
being formed, but thd by-law was 
deferred till next year. The Flat 
Rapids bridge which, had been pro 
vided for by an appropriation in 1853 
had, as it seems, not been built, but 
this year $400, with $120 added later, 
were granted aud the work done by J. 
B. Gibbons. Other considerable grants 
for roads and bridges were made, 
among which $20 for the Smith s 
Creek bridge repairs., $80 on the 2nd 
line from Mayhew s southward, with 
$40, in addition to $100 already spent, 
or a bridge and approaches on th* 1 
mill creek." Rate struck at % cent 
on the dollar. In 1857, the Council 
lors were Wm. Watt, (Reeve.) Thos. 
Knight, sr., R. Eady, jr., J. L. Mc 
Dougall and John Crawford ; Inspect 
ors. J. Knight, sr. , Jas. Roberts. Wm. 
Dicksou ; Same principal officials. 
The school section by-law as passed, 
assigned to Renfrew No. 1, Lots 1 15 
in the 1st and 2nd concessions; the 
lots from Knight s side road to the 
Bonnechere in the 3rd and from 
Lot 5 to the Bounechere in the 4th 
con. A census was ordered to be 
taken by the assessor, probably with 
a view to the application for incor 
poration of the village. A sum of 
$800 was set aside, the annual interest 
of which, for rive years, was ordered 
to be applied for the purchase of 
books, maps, &c. for the common 
schools of the township. It was also 
resolved to memorialize the Govern- 
or-in-Couucil to grant a sum of 
mon^y i or building a grammar school 
in the village of Renfrew. 

After a several days tour of road 
inspection, Mr Watt s committee on 
roads reported against spending more 
on the Castleford road (afterwards 
known as the Thomson road, but re- 
commeudsd $480 to be spent from John 
McNab s side line by the 5th line 



down the McNab town line, and on 
th? 9th line to Castleford ; also $480 
on roads N. of the Bonuechere and 
$100 on the 2nd line from Renfrew to 
the McNab town line, which with 
further smaller sums afterwards grant 
ed made an expenditure of near $1,200 
from to vuship funds ; another ox- 
ample of Mr Watt s influence and his 
broad minded policy. The Council 
afterwards determined, also, to spend 
$400 on the Castleford or Thom 
son road, and further agreed that if 
Ross, Westmeath, Pembroke and 
Bromley townships should co-operate, 
the township of Horton shall shara in 
constituting and opening, through the 
township the "Gould line road. " R. 
C. Mills was also asked to e-timate 
the cost of a good bridge over Bur- 
well s creek. Rate struck at ^ cent 
on the dollar for township purposes, 
apparently besides school rates. 

In 1858, the Councillors elected 
were, Win. Watt, Reeve ; R. Eady, 
jr., John Gibbons, Wm Richards and 
David Barr. The office of Inspector 
had been abolished. The principal 
officials were re-appointert. Wm. 
Watt died in June, whereupon Wm. 
Richards became Reeve and Geo. Gib 
bons was elected councillor. 

There was nothing done touching 
village affairs except the ordering of 
some repairs to the Bouuechere and 
Smith s Creek bridges and the usual 
laying out of statute labor, it being 
understood that as soon as the form 
alities in connection with the incor 
poration of Renfrew village were 
completed, a separation would be 
effected anil a village Council 
elected. The union of village and 
township had wrought fairly well, 
unless perhaps when there was a 
strained feeling in 1852-8. It may 
have been sometimes suggested that 
a larger proportion of the taxes col 
lected in the village ought to have been 
used in opening drains, building side 
walks and improving the often ex 
ecrable and all but impassable streets 
and some dissatisfaction on that ac 
count may have helped to hasten the se 

paration. On the other hand the ever 
increasing expenditure on township 
roads leading into the village was of 
great practical benefit to our mer 
chants, traders and citizen?, essential 
indeed to the upbuilding of the ham 
let. It is certain also that in the later 
years the expenditure on education in 
the village made large inroads on the 
total taxes collected before the se 
paration, as was shown afterwards 
when for years educational expenses 
bulked largely in the village accounts. 

The chief cause for hastening separ 
ation saems, as lias been already said, 
to have been due to the. rivalry be 
tween Renfrew and Pembroke in their 
eager desire to secure the county 
town. Adding to that the fact of the 
larger growth that commenced about 
1854, sufficient cause for the forward 
step emerges without searching for 
dissatisfaction of which there is no 
record that it existed. This narrator 
has made inquiries also as to possible 
reasons for including so large a ter 
ritory in the village limits, sufficient 
for a cit_y almost. No one supposes 
that our pioneers had visions of a 
"city yet to be" ; if there were any 
their "vision sublime" must soon 
have faded from their view. More 
feasible is the idea that the township 
wanted to get rid of as many gully 
bridges auo 1 as much uncxiltivable 
laud as possible, which those who 
were in haste to secure incorporation 
were fain to accept that there might 
be no delay. That has been spoken 
of and is given for what it may be 
worth. As it is we have an overlap, 
in Tliomsonville to the south, 
which no one could have thought of 
in 1858. 

On the eve of its reaching the 
status of a village there was little to 
commend it to favorable notice its 
bridges were in bad condition, there 
were no sidewalks. lu the centre of 
the village which from Mackay s 
corner down was swampy, McDoug- 
all s log fence helped pedestrian traffic 
not a little when the rain stirred up 
the mud. There was no help for 



teams, however, which were liable to 
be bogged, as has been told, even 
when drawing little more than the 
empty waggon. But the citizens as a 
whole were light hearted under all 
these disabilities. They were mostly 
young, had abundance of work on 
hand, were beginning to thrive and 
ha.d all the necessaries of the simple 
life, with some of the comforts as 
well. Many of them were more con 
cerned about owning their own homes 
than spending money on sidewalks, 
though drains would have been wel 
comed. Thus, they went cheerily on, 
full of hope, having an abiding faith 

in the future of their village, thouuli 
for the time being it was easily com 
parable to that stage in a growing, 
healthy, throughother boy s life when 
his normal condition is to be out at 
the elbows and when lie expresses 
supreme contempt for "frills," but 
has a sneaking regard fur them all the 
same. The foundations of the solid 
town were being laid in those days, 
not in the mud but down through it, 
where bed rock was being readied ; 
reached all the more certainly because 
they were willing to bear the incor.- 
venieuce of it for the time. 




At length, there came the important 
day when, on Monday, August 10th. 
1858, an eager, jolly crowd, deserting 
for the nonce, the home, the store, the 
work shop a^d the field, hied to the 
town hall, where the Governor-General 
had commanded them to assemble for 
the purpose of electing five fit and 
proper persons to represent them in 
Council, the warrant being directed to 
Geo. Ross as returning officer. They 
wera there in good time. Whilst they 
waited there were many serious 
whisperings and consultations, varied 
by much good humored chaffing and 

The warrant was read, nominations 
were called for, the ploy begun. John 
Burns had the first word, using it for 
the nomination of John Smith (tan- 
uer) as a "fit and proper person," in 
which he was seconded by Sinou 
O Gorman. In succession, John 
Churchill, Arch. Thompson, Wm. 
Dickson, J. L. McDougall, Henry 
Airth, sr. , Sampson Coombs, John 
Rankin, R. C. Mills and Alex. Jamie- 
son were nominated. 

Then it was speech day at the vil 
lage school of oratory. Congratu 
latory, reminiscent, prophetic in tone 
were some of them but, for the most 
part, more terse and glad -to -get- 
through with it Messrs Evans, Ran 
kin and Jamiesou modestly retiring. 
Then the poll was opened, continuing 
open till three o clock of the next 
day, when John Smith, 48 votes; John 
Churchill, 40; Wm. Dickson, 36; R. 
C. Mills, 35 and Sampson Coombs, 
32; were declared elected, the indica 
tions being up to the last hour tiiat 
Arch. Thompson would become one of 
the chosen five, the last three votes, 
however, changing his position. 

5(5 votes were polled, Sinou O Gor- 
in an being the first registered. 

Tiie initial meeting of Council was 
held on Aug 30th, when John Smith 
was elected Rueve unanimously, this 
being his first appearance at the Coun 
cil Board which he so largely domin 
ated for over twenty years. Geo. 
Ross was appointed Clerk and Treas 
urer at the modest salary of $20. A 
seal w itli tiie motto of a tree and the 
word* "Let Renfrew flourish" was 
ordered, with all necessary books and 
stationery. Thus, the transition 
stage was passed amid rejoicings and 
Renfrew was ready to put on a few 
frills. 1 Not much attention to 
them was given at thn outset, there 
being many matters connected with 
the routine of the Council s procedure 
and touching the well-ordering of its 
future work which must be at once 
adjusted. Tavern licenses, auction 
eers licenses, dog taxes, restraining 
the running at large of certain ani 
mals a^.d much eLe were embodied in 
by-laws. Communication was held 
with Mr Russell, of the Crown Lands 
department, urging that th^ O:*eongo 
road should be extended through Ren 
frew , the reason for that action 
being, doubtless, to secure Govern 
ment aid for certain streets and for 
the bridges across the Bonnechere and 
over the creek on the Admaston road. 
Mr Russell however, gave no encour 
agement to the proposal. John Burns 
being in office as collector and asses 
sor, he was as an expert builder, en 
crusted with drawing plans for a new 
bridge over the creek on the way to 
Admaston, the old bridge being 
dangerously dilapidated. It was 
agreed to expend $600 building it, but 
eventually it cost somewhat more, 
which lad to a Memorial to the Gov- 
emor-iu-Council seeking a "refund" 
for the reason that the bridge was a 
necessary adjunct to the Opeongo road. 



It does riot appear whether this mem 
orial was entertained but probably it 
was not. Negotiations were, from 
the outset going ou with the Town 
ship of Admaston as to adjustment of 
financial matters in which the muni 
cipalities had joint interest. Arbitra 
tion was provided for on the part of the 
village, but there were delays which 
led to long waiting before any settle 
ment was reached No other practical 
work was, therefore, attempted this 
year, except the survey of a road 66 
feet wide from Smith s creek bridge 
to Airth s farm which was constituted 
as taking the place of the 2nd con 
cession line. 

In 1859, the Councillors elected 
were John Smith (Reeve) John 
Churchill, A. R. McDonald, A. 
Thompson and Wm. Dicksou. Geo. 
Ross was reappoiuted Clerk and 
Treasurer at a salary of $50. He ap 
pears to have been also license in 
spector and issuer of licenses, being 
paid by fees. Wm. Halpeuny and 
John Kaukin were auditors, with 
John Burns, collector and assessor. 

Messrs Dicksou and Churchill, with 
the Reeve were the street committee. 
On their recommendation, the ap 
proaches to the new Admastou road 
bridge were improved, also all trees, 
logs and rubbish removed from a 
space of 40 feet on either side for fire 
protection. Further by-laws concern 
ing commutation of statute labor, the 
licensing and regulation of Ball alleys 
and Billiard rooms, and the like were 
passed. A rate of % cents on the dol 
lar was levied for county and village 
purposes, besides which a levy was 
ordered to raise $400 for school pur 

The period of the "fifties" thus 
ended without anything very startling 
being actually accomplished under the 
new regime. There are indications, 
however, that there wore those who 
would have introduced innovations of 
a helpful kind had not their inten 
tions been strongly opposed in the 
interest of economy. There was a 
Fire Committee of Council appointed 

as well as Fire Wardens, the intention 
being, doubtless, to make some pro 
vision of apparatus, however primi 
tive, for fighting fire, as was done in 
after years ; but in this period there 
was not the slightest effort in that 
direction so far as the records show. 
In the matter of drainage also, there 
was a by-law passed prohibiting pri 
vate drains, the natural complement 
of which would have been to establish 
some system of drainage, which those 
who introduced the by-law doubtless 
intended should be done, but that was 
only accomplished after many days. 
A resolution was carried, followed by 
a by-law after a couple of months, 
which also was read twice, recom 
mending that $1.000 should be bor 
rowed, repayable in five yearly instal 
ments, with interest at 8 per cent, for 
the purpose of laying sidewalks and 
making other improvements. Word 
seems to have readied the "fathers" 
that mud would still be more accept 
able to the majority than debt. So 
the third reading was laid over till 
next meeting, at which no notice was 
taken of it nor was it ever again dis 
cussed in Council. 

As we have said, the citizens were 
mostly young, few of them past the 
prime of life. All indications are 
that in one way and another they had 
many sources of enjoyment which 
gave zest to what we, who have all 
the modern advantages and improve 
ments of urban life, might be disposed 
to think of as monotonous existence 
in a backwoods village. " There was a 
spirit of sociability amongst the pion 
eers which hound them to each other 
almost as if they had been members 
of one family, overleaping for the 
most part any distinctions of class or 
affluence. They ran out and in to 
visit each other, knew each other s 
joys, in which they freely partici 
pated, also each other s sorrows, to 
which they ministered sympathy and 
added kindly help. Such relations 
.made for contentment, for happiness, 
for delightfully pleasant intercourse 
in the evening hours. Sometimes, as 



happens in the best regulated families, 
there were rifts in these pleasant re 
lations. It may even be averred that, 
for longer or shorter periods, erst 
while bosom friends were not on 
speaking terms, at least, civil speak 
ing terms; leading to coteries being 
formed. But these things added to 
the zestfulness of life rather than 
otherwise in the small community; 
then the breach was generally healed 
before long, when life flowed on in its 
even course as before. 

As may be seen in the earlier nar 
rative, an outlet for much eloquence 
as well as a source of much enjoyment 
and help to many was the organization 
of the Division of the Sons of Tem 
perance, who contributed much to the 
pleasures of the community through 
frequent entertainments, open air 
concerts by the band, and racy dis 
cussions on the weekly meeting nights. 
Much more than that, it contributed 
to the pure enjoyments of the home- 
by checking the then all but u/iiversal 
custom of taking a "dram" (drink). 
There were men who could, as they 
said, take a "dram," when they 
needed it or be sociable like when 
they met a friend, without being 
"aye dram-dramming." No doubt a 
few of them could do as they said, 
but the records are sorely at fault if 
it was not the case then, as it is 
still, that too often taking a dram led 
onto "aye dram-dramming" to the 
grievous cost of many a strong, 
bright, good-hearted man in our vil 
lage and vicinity, and to the still 
more grievous cost of discomfort and 
heart sorrow in his home. This the 
temperance movement checked for a 
time in very many cases ; for good 
and all in not a few who saw the 
dangor and retraced their steps to 
the great blessing of their families. 
Still there were some wrecks strewn 
bv the way as the result of the "dram 
dramming" habit, which followed 
closely on the heels of the quite re 
spectable and common habit of readily 
accepting the invitation to "come 
away in and have something." 

There was a reading "crowd" in 
those earlier days such as has not 
been surpassed, if even equalled, in 
any subsequent period of our history ; 
whose membership liked nothing bet 
ter than to get hold of a good book ; 
carefully to peruse it ; then to send it 
on its rounds until the whole crowd 
were ready to discuss and re-discuss 
it in the Literary Club at Wm. Dick- 
son s or in evening meetings in their 
various homes. Such rational enjoy 
ment put in the time famously for an 
increasing number of our citizens. 
The lack of the new and standard 
books which they would fain have, 
but could not well afford led, as Wm. 
Dickson pointed out in his letter pub 
lished the other day in the "Mercury" 
columns, to an entertainment being 
proposed and carried out under the 
leadership of "Archie" Thompson and 
himself, which brought in a good 
grist of bawbees for the purpose of 
buying books for the nucleus of a 
Public Library. Then Elkanah Bil 
lings joined his knowledge and legal 
ability to their enthusiasm, with the 
result that the "Renfrew Mechanics 
Institute and Library Association" 
was legally instituted in 1852 and 
became like a well of living water to 
those knowledge-seeking souls. It is 
worth reiterating here that the leaders 
of the movement in this, and the first 
part of the succeeding period, filled 
the shelves of the Institute Library 
with such a selection of the best books 
of that day in History, Biography, 
Poetry, Science and Philosophy as 
stands to their credit still, and is one 
of the legacies to the present which, 
though too little appreciated, is still 
of very great value. Life could not 
be mere existence to those whosa tastes 
led them to browse on such uplands 
of literature as are represented in the 
Institute catalogue. In the "sixties" 
this reading crowd was practically 
broken up, its leading members being 
scattered to the four winds. With 
scarcely one left to push its work, the 
Institute lost ground and was pract 
ically closed for several years. An- 



other set of book lovers came in the 
early "seventies" \vho soon discover 
ed the treasures becoming musty on 
the Institute shelves. They set them 
selves to work with a will, thus soon 
bringing matters back to a fairly 
satisfactory state. 

There were ups and downs even 
after that, but there continued always 
to be some show of activity. In the 
"nineties" the Institute organization place to the Public Library 
Board, to whose care the Library was 
turned over. The long desiderated 
reading room was provided in a suit 
able room, centrally situated. The 
result has noS been as satisfactory as 
was expected; indeed for a couple of 
years now the reading room has been 
closed; the present craze for athletics 
having interfered seriously with its 
intent that it should be a restful 
evening meeting place for young 
men. Other causes, of -course, con 
tributed to the want of success in 
that direction. Meantime there is a 
large issue of books, but the Board 
regrets to hive to report that so few 
of the best books are being read. 

Hockoy, lacrosse and the like were 
here unknown in the fifties, but con 
siderable attention was given to old- 
fashioned ball games, even the lordly 
game of cricket having a few votaries, 
especially towards the close of this 
period and during the "sixties," when 
our English citizens brought it into 
favorable notice. The game of quoits 
was much favored several of our 
players being experts. Skating parties, 
on pond or river, enlivened the winter 
season. Hiding parties held sway in 
summer for fortunate owners of hor 
ses. Checker playing both at the Eng 
lish and French game had many de 
votees, whilst various card games 
were popular as serving to pass the 
evening pleasantly when neighbors 
foregathered or when more formal 
parties were called. 

Dances and dancing parties easily 
held the foremost place in the social 
life of the period. Young and old, 
rich and poor, dwellers in town and 

country, saints and sinners, all met 
often, came early, kept the fun up late 
and tripped the light fantastic with 
such whole-hearted enjoyment as 
caused them to tryst to meet soon 
again. Rounds of such parties were ar 
ranged every winter, and logging bees, 
raisings, or any similar gatherings 
gave the signal that there would be a 
dance in the evening, to attend which 
no formal invitation was required. 

Other "entertainments" were fre 
quent, concerts, socials, tea meetings 
these being always relied upon when 
the scarce commodity cash was re 
quired for the furtherance of some 
object of general interest. As we have 
noteu we had during this period only 
two resident clergymen, and, as they 
gave no countenance to this species of 
"voluntary giving" our citizens had 
little knowledge of thn glories connect 
ed with the "Church Social" and 
"the donation party." The Presby 
terians, especially, were debarred 
from such excitements, being forced 
as a general thing to show their 
liberality on the Sabbath day when 
their good elders Airth and Mclntyre 
exercised their function of "lifting 
the coppers" (sometimes waggishly 
or profanely declared to be the chief 
and even the only duty of the Scotch 
elder; which was not applicable in 
their case, Irowever. ) There was a 
pleasurable excitement, especially to 
the youngsters, in this same function. 
For, it proclaimed that the preaching 
was over for the day. The excitement 
was shared in even by the dogs, who 
had slept serenely up to that time, 
but then became alert. Then there 
was a fascination in watching as the 
ladle passed fancy ladles of John 
Burns be.t make, they had in St. An 
drew s, which are still sacredly 
treasured. He was a proud lad who 
had a "bawbee tae put in" and to 
him the ladle was wearisomely long 
in coming. But listen ; plunk, 
"there s a penny," tinkle, "surely 
that was a saxpence. " It might be a 
special collection and then there 
might be even the soundless, though 



perhaps noc altogether hidden, flut 
tering of a bank note into the ladle, 
that capping the climax. But, as 
Wm. Jamieson used to tell with gusto, 
such flutterings were so rare that on 
relating such a circumstance to a pass 
ing clerical friend as having happen 
ed, he got the sternly assured answer, 
"Banknotes, said ye? Twa or three 
o them nae less. Na, na : diuna tell 
sic clash tae me; I ken ye ower weel 
tae credit that story; I tell ye, ye re 
no that kind. " 

So they had amusements and 
pleasures suited to the tastes of all. 
They had to work hard for the most 
part; but they were making their 
\vay. This bred contentment, with 
their lot: also predisposed them to 
take what pleasure was within reach 
with a fullness and abandon which 
made them quite canty. Many stories 
there are of mischievous plays and 
pranks, which were lightheartedly en 
tered into without ill intent, but be 
cause they were as ready to play hard 
as to work hard. The indications, 
are indeed, that they were a jollier 
crowd than their successors, and that 
in many respects ; but we may be in 
vesting them with the glamour which 
distance always casts around the 
doings and the personages of long ago. 

No notice has been taken so far of 
services by the Church of England. 
It is to be remembered that Ea?t and 
South, as well as in the village, the 
first sett ers were largely Scotcli and 
Presbyterians, with a sprinkling of 
French, mostly in the village, and 
Irisli settlers to the West. North of 
the Bonnechere were several English 
settlers, but for some time they made 
uo move to secure Episcopal services. 
The English who became citizens of 
Renfrew from 1858 onward, were 
more solicitous for such a privilege, 
which led to occasional services both 
in Hortou and the village, which were 
probably conducted by Rev. E. H. M. 
Baker, a young minister of the Epis 
copal church who had as his field in 
those days the whole County of Ren 
frew. Laborious work he did, much 

of it being by the bridle path and 
"blazed trail." Now, as a very old 
retired" minister, he lives in the city 
of Toronto. 

We have not as yet secured sufficient 
information to enable us definitely to 
say more about the rise and progress 
of Methodism in Renfrew and vicinity 
than has been alreadj* set down. 
Joshua Murphy s recollection is that 
during this period there were few if 
any stationed Methodist ministers, 
although many travelling missionaries 
may have paid occasional visits, hold 
ing services in private houses, school 
houses, the dining rooms of hotels and 
even in the open air. In the village 
the whole community frequented the 
Presbyterian or Roman Catholic 
churches with more or less regularity. 

As to educational matters, these 
have been already sketched by the 
former narrator, whose information as 
to this period is so precise and full 
that no addition need be made. 
Mistakes creep into such a narrative 
as this without any very fitting op 
portunity of correcting them, as they 
are not noticed until the Story is in 
print. One of these has been already 
referred to in connection with the 
Mechanics Institute, the idea of 
which was due to E. Billings, our 
first lawyer. Another has been 
pointed out by Wm. Dicksou, whose 
birth place was Galashiels, Scotland, 
and not Selkirk, as the Story stated. 
These historic towns are some miles 
apart, but between them is situated 
the stately and romantic "Abbots- 
ford," the far-famed home place of 
Sir Walter Scott, so that what was 
said about the spell of that wizard 
being on all the land is equally ap 
plicable to Selkirk and Galashiels. 

We have lingered longer than we 
expected in the company of the pion 
eers, their personality and their do 
ings being worthy of a somewhat 
lengthy recital. In the succeeding 
periods, it may not be possible to 
write fully of more than those who 
were more prominent in building upon 
the foundations which the pioneers so 
well and truly laid 



PERIOD 186069. 
1. Those Who Joined the Pioneers. 

In the preceding period some men 
tion was made of the English immi 
grants who came to settle on the 
much -lauded lands on the Opeongo 
road. As was pointed out also, a 
number of them having made a short 
trial of life in the bush" were soon 
sternly persuaded to retrace their 
steps and to seek other avenues of 
fortune. la resuming these personal 
notes, some few of these should uow 
be mentioned, as having, after some 
looking about, become helpful factors 
in the upbuilding of the village in 
the "sixties" and the following 

John Stevenson and his sou Henry, 
who had been piano-forte workers in 
London, England, came to Canada in 
1860. Having considerable means, 
they first purchased a cabinet-making 
business in Portage-du-Fort which, in 
the course of a year, they found to be 
a most unprofitable venture. They 
then took up land on the Opeongo 
road about eight miles west of Ren 
frew, choosing it when the abundant 
rocks and general unfitness for settle 
ment were hidden by the deep snow. 
The next summer they built a com 
modious house, which was furnished 
in good style, having also a stock of 
valuable books. The secret of these 
preparations was more fully known 
when in 1862, Miss Soper, of Lon 
don, arrived and was married to the 
son Henry. The home, however, was 
soon lost to them as, one day, John 
Stevenson, thinking to help on the 
work and improve the surroundings, 
set fire to the brush heaps, the result 
being that everything in the clearance 
went up in smoke. On that day, 
John Stevenson s farming ambitions 
ended. He then secured employment 
with Robert Drysdale, whilst Henry 
still wrought on the farm it is still 

owned by the family till 1867. He 
was then joined by his son Henry in 
starting a cabinet making business in 
a small shop to the rear of Pedlow s 
present stand. Soon after, they pur 
chased the present Stevenson stand on 
Raglan street, on which there was 
then a small shop. There they built 
a "house, which was soon destroyed by 
fire. There, they continued to work, 
to extend their business and to pros 
per. John Stevenson died in 1900. in 
his 91st year, and his sou Henry fol 
lowed in 1906. The father lived a 
very quiet, retired life but Henry and 
his good wife were prominent support 
ers of all moral movements in the com 
munity. In early life they were con 
nected with what had been Whitfield s 
Church in Tottenham Court Road 
Congregational. Coming to Renfrew 
they soon connected with, and became 
pillars of the Methodist Church, in 
which Henry Stevenson was Bible class 
teacher, Class leader and helper in 
many other ways, whilst Mrs 

Stevenson was ever in the froat 
rank of the faithful lady workers. 
Their family of nine sons and two 
daughters, following in their parents 
footsteps, are standard-bearers for the 
right in our own town and in the 
other communities to which so mauv 
of them have scattered. In public 
affairs Henry Stevenson took an active 
and helpful interest, which his fellow 
citizens recognized in many ways, he 
being a councillor at the time of his 
death. Industrious, reliable, pushing, 
he made his mark in the history of our 
town and left to his family the heri 
tage of au honoured name. 

Stephen Walford, who had been in 
the drug business in England, emi 
grated from Manchester in 1857, find 
ing his way then to Renfrew county, 
where he spent five years as a teacher 



in our rural schools before coming to 
the village in December 18(52. He at 
that time bought out the stock of Geo. 
Woods, who had been established as 
our druggist in 1880. Mr Walford at 
first continued to occupy the same 
promisee, which were in the part of 
Mrs Geo. Ross present dwelling 
nearest to Geo. Eady s. After a time 
he removed to the shop on the site of 
the present "Cameron Block" and, 
about 18(58, found accommodation for 
his increasing business by purchasing 
the site till then occupied by James 
Watt At that time he took into part 
nership his son James H. , who has 
continued the business alone, since 
his father s death at the close of the 
sixties. In 1872, the present brick store 
one of the first brick stores in the 
village replaced the old wooden 
structure, whilst the adjoining house 
was removed to the rear, being long 
occupied by Mrs S. Walford and her 
daughter, who became Mrs Rorison, 
now of Vancouver. J. H. Walford 
married, about* 1874, Harriet, the 
youngest daughter of Rev. Geo. 
Thomson, who for over twenty years 
made their home happy to themselves 
and attractive to their friends ; then 
to him and his family came the quiet 
life in which her memory is still 
cherished. The Walfords were trained 
in a Congregational church at Man 
chester well trained. In Renfrew 
they connected themselves with the 
Presbyterian church, in which Jas. H. 
has given large and willing service, 
as Sabbath School teacher and Super 
intendent for nearly forty years, as 
organizer and leader of the choir for 
over 20 years, and as an elder who 
tries to do his duty well. He has also 
taken an active interest in educational 
matters, having been a working mem 
ber of the School Board for many 
years several times chairman. His 
long connection with the Sons of 
Temperance and with the I. O. O. F. 
has been very helpful to those societies 
and beneficial to many who are con 
nected with them. With abundant 
enthusiasm and willingness to lend a 

helping hand, few have done more to 
cultivate the social side of our village 
and town life than Mr Walford. 

James Reynolds, from London, Eng 
land, where he had a thorough train 
ing as a painter, tarried in Pakeuham 
for three or fonr 3 ears after he emi 
grated to Canada. About 1860, he 
determined to settle in Renfrew, 
where he had his home at first in an 
old log house on the Mayhew farm. 
Afterwards, he purchased a lot on the 
corner of James and Opeongo Streets, 
where he built the comfortable little 
home in which he and his family 
lived so long. His reputation as a 
workman an artist indeed and an 
honorable man went far and wide, 
securing him abundant employment 
with a comfortable maintenance but, 
whilst yet comparatively young, the 
poison of the paints laid hold on him 
with fatal results. Good motherly, 
well-loved Mrs Reynolds tarried with 
us long after, rejoicing in her familj 
of sons, who are now mostly doing 
well in the west; rejoicing also in 
extending sympathy and help to bur 
dened ones, rich and poor, in her 
large circle of friends. Many will 
have life-long remembrances of these 
good citizens. 

Having now noted the more prom 
inent and efficient English helpers 
who remained in Renfrew after the 
Opeongo boom, we may turn our at 
tention to a group of equally promi 
nent and successful workers of Iris n 
birth, who joined the village ranks 
from time to time. 

It has been already noted that cer 
tain families of Devices settlad in the 
vicinity of the Village, back in the 
"forties." Of these, Felix Devine 
reached Renfrew County in 1845, the 
advance courier of the families who 
came after. Having a good education 
he was employed as clerk by Elias 
Moore, a lumberman of those days, 
with whom he continued for some time. 
For some years after he was clerk 
for Gerrard McCrea, who kept store 
and also lumbered, his headquarters 
being at Springtown, which was then 



quite a busy hamlet. About 1856, 
Felix Devine began business on his 
own account at Spriugtowu, calling 
to his assistance his brother Patrick, 
who, when he followed Felix to Cana 
da, had been employed at Ottawa. 
Felix, who by years of contact with 
the Bagot settlers, had won their re 
gard and confidence, was from this 
time on elected from year to year to 
the position of Reeve of the township, 
thus gaining such large experience in 
municipal matters as made him an 
influential member of the County 
Council, as well as a well-known man 
throughout the country. Seeking a 
larger sphere of operations, he remov 
ed to Renfrew about 18(34, where the 
two brothers opened up a general store 
in the building on the corner opposite 
"Haudford s block." Eventually, 
they removed to what was then, at 
least, a more advantageous site oppo 
site the British Hotel, where Felix 
continued in business till about the 
time of his death in 1890. His former 
municipal experience being well and 
favorably known, he was in a short 
time after lie came to the village, 
elected to the council, an honor that 
was frequently bestowed upon him, 
as well as that of Reeve. He had 
shown his interest in education by 
holding the position of superintendent 
of schools for Bagot and otiier associ 
ated townships a somewhat thankless 
task, which led however, to his be 
coming for man} 7 years a useful mem 
ber of the Renfrew School Board. As 
a likeable, sagacious, steady-going 
man, conciliatory in temperament and 
reliable in his dealings, he was highly 
esteemed in business circles. He and 
his family also held a distinctive 
place in the social life. of the com 
munity, a place still accorded to those 
who remain with us. Two of his sous 
are in business elsewhere; F. M. 
Devine is one of our lawyers and an 
ex-Mayor of the town ; his two mar 
ried daughters are Mrs Dr. Connolly, 
of Renfrew, and Mrs McFaddeu, of 
the "Soo" ; two ethers have "taken the 
veil, " whilst another is a trained nurse. 

Shortly after their removal to the 
"upper end," Patrick Deviue return 
ed to the corner opposite Handford s, 
where he opened the first distinctive 
ly hardware store in Renfrew, having 
as his assistant, his brother John and 
afterwards, his nephew, Matthew, 
son of Andrew Devine. After a 
number of years he built the brick 
block adjoining the Dominion House, 
which is still occupied by the firm of 
Devine and McGarry, who carried 
on the business after Patrick De- 
vine s death in 1894. A confirmed 
bachelor himself, he found the deep 
est satisfaction of his affectionate 
nature in caring for the education and 
advancement in life of his brother s 
children. His popularity was so great 
that his party nominated him for 
parliamentary honors, though he was 
not attracted in that direction him 
self. He acceded to their request oncy, 
running for the Commons, but, being 
unsuccessful, he could not be again 
induced to enter the field. Few of 
the men of his day were more sociable 
or had more engrained wit and humor ; 
none had more warm friends amongst 
all classes in our community. He was 
as entlmsiastic a curler as ever trod on 
ice and when the rink happened to be 
made up of "the two divines his 
witty way of speaking of the minister 
and himself and the two elders there 
was likely to be "something doing. 
How we all missed him when lie was 
taken from us. For he was a warm 
hearted friend, the life of any com 
pany with whom he met socially, and 
an intelligent and well informed man 
who could take his part helpfully 
when serious matters were being dis 

It may not be out of place to refer 
here to the two other brothers of this 
pioneer family, although they did 
not become residents rf the village 
till after the "sixties." Arriving in 
Canada in 1848, they both found 
their way in that year to Renfrew 
but chose for themselves farms in the 
township of Hortou, north of the 



John Bovine and his estimable wife, 
who were not blessed with any fam 
ily, remained on the farm till in the 
"seventies" they joined Patrick 
Deviue when he opened his hardware 
store, in which John was assistant 
till his death, near the close of the 
"eighties," Mrs Devine, during all 
these years, presided over the home 
in which the two brothers dwelt so 
long and happily together, a duty 
which she still continued until Pat- 
rick passed away, after which she 
kept the home open, though she spent 
much time in visiting her many re 
latives, on one of which visits she 
was seized with her last illness and 
herself went to her rest about four 
years ago. She and her husband were 
botli of a retiring disposition, but 
their circle of acquaintances held 
them in high estimation, she especial 
ly being well-known to many as one 
whose quiet deeds of kindness and 
gentle nature made her very much be 

Andrew Devine settled near his 
brother John, where there grew up 
around him and his good wife a large 
family of sons and daughters. As the 
sons went from the farm into other 
lines of life, he too came to the vil 
lage in the early "eighties," where 
he set up the home on Hall street in 
vhich Mrs Deviue resides at the pre 
sent time. She has reminisceuses of 
the early days, many of which would 
be worth recording, but we have only 
space to set clown one which is vivid 
ly impressed on her memory. When 
it was known that they were coming 
and that she had witli her a child in 
arms, Felix Devine determined to 
make the journey from Bonnechere 
Point as comfortable as possible for 
her. Accordingly he went by canoe 
to the Point, where he took charge of 
Andrew with his wife and child. 
The summer drought being on, the 
water was low : so low that on reach 
ing Gibbons rapids they stuck firm 
and fast in midstream, a situation 
which was sufficiently alarming to 
one unacquainted with such convey 

ance. Felix, however, understood the 
situation. There was nothing for it 
but to off boots and wade, which the 
two men did, shoving the canoe before 
them till deeper water was reached. 
Glad and thankful woman was Mrs 
Devine when that water journey end 
ed and she and hers were safely wend 
ing their way over the firm ground at 
Clear Point. She did not know then 
that the jolting and shaking, that she 
missed, would have been a much more 
trying experience than the threatened 
ducking, which she after all escaped. 

After a short residence on Hall 
street, Mr and Mrs Devine with their 
eldest daughter removed to Osceola, 
where their son, Rev. F. M. Devine, 
was parish priest, and passed the time 
in ministering to his comfort in the 
parsonage. There Mr Devine died 
near the close of the "nineties 
After Father Devine s death some two 
years ago, Mrs Devine and her 
daughter returned to the old residence 
, on Hall st., where the mother has 
most of her family near at hand, thus 
adding much comfort to her in the 
quiet evening of her days. One 
daughter became the wife of T. 
W. McGairy, M.P.P , whilst two 
others have devoted themselves to the 
religious life as Sisters of St. Joseph, 
and are now in Toronto. 

Their son John, who was the child 
who braved the rapids of the Boune- 
chere, wrought on his father s farm 
till about thirty years of age, then 
spending some years in shantying and 
other lumbering operations ,m the 
Bonuecliere. Eventually he settled 
down as a resident of Renfrew some 
14 years ago, interesting himself in 
Insurance and Trust and Loan busi 
ness, holding the office of bailiff and, 
latterly, securing the patent of a 
Cobalt claim which, it is said, pro 
mises good results. 

Another son, Matthew, after spend 
ing some time in Ottawa, returned in 
1882 to learn the hardware business 
with his uncle, with whom he re 
mained for ten years, when he formed 
the firm of Devine & McGarry, who 



bought from Patrick Deviue the busi 
ness which they are still successfully 

Felix M. , the third son, was one of 
Renfrew s bright boys, who entered 
on his studies for the priesthood in 
St. Michael s College, Toronto, where 
iie remained four j ears. Two years 
more he spent in the Ottawa Univer 
sity, after which he completed his 
course with much credit in the Grand 
Seminary, Montreal. Having taken 
ordination at the hands of Arch 
bishop Bourget, he soon became sec 
retary to Bishop Lorrain, of Pem 
broke, who, after about two years, 
appointed him to the parish of 
Osceola, where he laboured with 
marked ability and success for well 
nigh a quarter of a centur3 , passing 
in J905. The magnificent church and 
school-house at Osceola, the neat 
church at Cobden and the fine school- 
house at Connaught settlement are 
material monuments to the zeal, 
earnestness and faithfulness of this 
"old Renfrew boy. " 

Patrick is now one of Bromley s 
pushing farmers, whilst the youngest 
son, Andrew, became an official of 
the Inland Revenue Department at 
Ottawa, where he died some years ago. 

The first of the family to emigrate 
from Ireland were Matthew Devine 
and Mrs Moran. Matthew spent some 
time in Hubbell s Falls, coming later 
to Renfrew where he was a resident 
in 1848. He too located on a farm 
beyond the pinnacle from which he 
removed to Springtowu. Leaving 
there in 1878, he went to Vinelaud, 
New Jersey, where he spent the re 
mainder of his days. His son Andrew, 
who was long official streuographer to 
the U. S. House of Representatives, 
but is now vice-President of the Col 
umbia Phonograph Co. of New York 
and who frequently visits his Renfrew 
relatives has kept us in inind of this 
branch of the family. 

Francis French, whose figure was 
for years so familiar on Renfrew 
streets, was born in Mayo County, 
Ireland, in 1807. Having married 

Eleanor Brown early in life, all the 
children, except the youngest, were 
born in the old land. In 1845 hi- 
emigrated to Canada, finding his way 
first to Bytowu, whence lie branched 
off to Perth, in which town he 
wrought for about a year. Having 
become acquainted with the Cald- 
wells and Smiths, he was induced to 
remove to Lanark Village, where he 
did business as a tailor till about the 
close of 1858. His was, in those early 
days, the only Roman Catholic family 
in che place, but ho formed many en 
during friendships with his Scotch 
neighbors, amongst whom he was 
held in high esteem for his honorable 
dealing and genial bearing. He of 
ten told with delight in his later 
days how they always respected his 
religious convictions, going so far as 
to provide him with means of con 
veyance, rather than see him walk the 
13 long miles over bad roads to Perth 
to attend the Sunday services. Re 
moving to Renfrew County, he set 
tled on a farm beyond the Pinnacle, 
near to the Deviues. There he and 
his sous, Thomas and Michael, clear 
ed the land, working hard and faith 
fully until Thomas death in 18(57. Af 
ter that Mrs French s health began to 
fail, which caused the husband to 
make preparations for retiring from 
active work by building the cosy 
home on Plauut street (now occupied 
by Wm. Egau), in which they hoped 
to spend together the restful evenings 
of their days. Coming into the vil 
lage and leaving the farm to Michael, 
about the close of 1870, they began 
the restful life ; but, unhappily, Mrs 
French did not rally as had been loped 
and she passed away before a year 
was ended. Soon after, Mr French 
made his home with his only daugh 
ter Mrs Felix Devine where the 
long years in which he still remained 
with us were made bright by the lov 
ing care of children and grand-child 
ren, as well as by the respect of 
friends who esteemed him for his 
great worth. From personal inspec 
tion made in his daily walks, he may 



be said to have known every stone 
that was laid and every nail that was 
driven in the new buildings which 
were erected, so interested was he in 
everything which told of the pro 
gress, whilst it added to the stability 
or the beauty of the home place that 
he loved. 

In the old land he had been drawn 
into the great temperance movement 
headed by Father Matthew ; from 
whose own hand he took the pledge to 
which he was faithful all his days. 
So faithful was he, that when he was 
attacked by cholera on his arrival at 
Quebec, he persistently refused to 
touch the liquor that had been pre 
scribed to prevent collapse. The 
doctor went so far as to call men to 
his aid in an attempt tc force the 
liquor upon him, whereupon in his 
indignation he rose, daring t!>e doctor 
to commit such an outrage. The re 
action of that indignant protest hap 
pily had the very effect that the liquor 
was intended to produce, for in no 
long time he was a well man again. 
This incident was characteristic, toll 
ing how the quiet, gentle man could 
be strong and faithful, as unto death, 
to what he held to be right. The 
years wore on but still he lingered 
until, in his ninetieth year, he passed 
away. Much missed was he by the 
many who enjoyed meeting him in 
those daily walks. 

Francis French, Jr., who had learn 
ed his father s trade, began business 
in Renfrew in 1859 or 60, continuing 
to prosper for nearly forty years at 
his stand on Raglan street, about 
where Plaunt s Drug store is at pre 
sent. He did not take much part, 
however, in outside affairs but stead 
ily confined himself to his own work, 
until, at length retiring, he went to 
live at Brudenell with his son, Rev. 
Frank French, the devoted priast of 
that parish. Another of his sons- 
Rev. Isaiah French is also well 
known as the parish priest of Killa- 

Michael French, who remained on 
the farm wheu his father retired in 

1870, continued to work there till 
about 1874, when lie too went to the 
village where, for some years, he 
carried on a grocery next door south 
of the Ottawa House. Finding the 
confinement irksome, ho took hold 
during the next 18 years of ttie sale of 
agricultural implements, first for 
Noxoa Bro.3. and afterwards for 
Moodie and Sons. In 190(5, lie bought 
out the hardware busines? of Camp 
bell and McBride, which he soon dis 
posed of to his son John, retaining 
however, the looal agency for Deering 
Bros. machinery. His other sous are 
now in the Northwest Thomas went 
to S. Africa during the war, where 
he gave a good account of himself 
another only daughter is being edu 
cated at an Academy in the Ameri 
can Soo, Mrs Freucli having died 
some teu years ago. Michael took 
more active part and interest in poli 
tical and municipal matters than did 
others of his family, but since Mrs 
French s death, he has been much on 
the road and lias not been so active 
in such matters as in earlier days. 

John French was also in Renfrew 
for a time, learning the blacksmith 
trade with Mr O Harro. He soon 
went up the line, however, and 
eventually settled down in the town 
of Sturgeon Falls. 

Another son of the Emerald Isle, 
whose figure is still familiar, though 
he is no longer the burly man lie was 
in years gone by, is Michael Fitz- 
maurice, a Kerry boy who arrived in 
Quebec in 1803. After working in 
that city for a time, he went on to 
Montreal, where he was employed 
till the spring of 1874. Coming on 
then to Renfrew, he looked about for 
a time, but in November he started a 
blacksmith business for himself in a 
shop built by Philion, on the site 
where the Merchants Bank now 
stands. Having soon secured a good 
run of custom, he bought a couple of 
lots from Mclntyre, on one of which 
he built a blacksmith shop, and later, 
a wood-working shop behind it. 
About a year after he cams to Ren- 



frew he married a Miss Culhane, 
which led him also to build a dwell 
ing on the property, in which he aud 
his family lived for years. 

Thinking that he had too much 
land, he sold a part to the Costello 
Bros., which with the shop they built 
he bought back again after some years. 
He still prospered in business, but so 
felt tke strain of the heavy work that, 
in 1895, he retired from it. Yet, be 
ing a hale aud hearty man, he 
thought it well to carry on some 
lighter business, which he did for a 
short time, but soon gave it up, re 
moving then to his present residence 
on Argyle street. What further work 
he might have undertaken cannot be 
told, as some time afterwards he had 
a somewhat severe shock of paralysis 
which necessitated the life of well- 
earned leisure for which, happily, his 
previous industrious habits had made 
abundant provision. He has the en 
dowment of wit, peculiar to his 
countrymen, and many genial and 
sterling traits of character which have 
attracted to him many warm friends, 
whilst he and his good wife have been 
he 7 pfnl friends and kind neighbors to 
those amongst whom they live. His 
family of daughters made his home 
attractive. Two of them are now in 
homes of their own, Mrs Matthew 
Devine and Mrs William Burns, in 
town, other two in the States whilst 
two younger daughters are still watch 
ing over their parents in the old home. 
Good helper and genial friend ! May 
lie long be spared to go about amongst 
us ! James Fitzmaurice, brother of 
Michael, came about the same time, 
but went on to Osceola, whence after 
a while he came to Renfrew and 
wrought for a couple of years. He 
then set up his blacksmith business in 
Shamrock but returned to Renfrew 
about 1871, when he did business in 
the old log shop near Smith s Creek 
bridge. After some three or four 
years he bought a site on Argyle 
street, near the Opeongo road, where 
he built the shop and dwelling which 
he afterwards disposed of to Leacy, 

and which are now held by J. Flaunt. 
His business prospered, but as his 
family were growing up, he determin 
ed to get back to the land, which 
took him away from us to the farm 
on which he now lives, some miles 
out in Admaston, where he is in very 
comfortable circumstances. He made 
his mark among us as a quiet, in 
dustrious, reliable man, friendly and 
obliging to a notable degree. 

Amongst the earliest incomers of 
the "sixties" was T. B. Muir, who 
came originally from Scotland, but 
had wrought for a while in Montreal. 
He took charge here, for about a year, 
of the tailoring department of the 
large general business then carried on 
by John Muuro, jr., in the old store 
on the Stewart Bros. site. He left 
Muuro when he removed to the stone 
store, buying for himself the front 
half of his present lot on which stood 
a dwelling house. There he started 
his tailoring business, soon going to 
bring Miss Thompson from Montreal 
as his bride. Together they wrought 
and thrived. A the 3 j ears passed their 
family grew up around them and their 
prosperity and the brightness of their 
home went hand in hand. In 1873, he 
built the new store which was occu 
pied by Dav\ and Clark as a drug 
store. The Masonic Hall was in the 
upper story of that building and un 
der Mr Muir s supervision, it being 
more a matter of deep interest in and 
love for the craft that prompted him 
to provide such comfortable aud com 
modious qiiarters, than of profit on 
his investment. All along he has 
been a most devoted Mason and now 
is the oldest active member both of 
the Lodge and the Chapter, for which 
he has done so much, having long 
kept the Lodge alive by his own deep 
interest in it. In 1889, the confine 
ment of tailoring so told on his health, 
that he turned away from it and, in 
company at first with A. W. Easton, 
opened the crockery store in which he 
still continues to do a good business. 
Mrs Muir w T as taken from him some 
few .years ago, but lie is blessed with 



the carw of daughters, who watch over 
aad lovingly care for him in his some 
what failing health. A true man, 
trnsty and kind-hearted, everybody 
relies on him and his friends are very 

It has already been remarked that 
the early settlers in the surrounding 
townships contributed much, by their 
thrift and industry, to the upbuilding 
of Renfrew as an important trading 
centre; whilst they did even more by 
sending the best and brightest of their 
well trained sons, and daughters too, 
to enter 011 their life work in the 
steadily growing" village. The latter 
point has had illustration in several 
previous sketches ; but in the "sixties, " 
there was a special influx of those 
who spent their early da3 7 s on tlie 
farms of our nearby townships ami 
who, later, took rank among our enter 
prising and successful workers. With 
out paying much attention to the or 
der of their coming, we shall now set 
down the prominent data in the life 
work of some of these. 

Renfrew has no better known, or 
more, thoroughly respected citizen 
than George Eady, jr. . whose early 
life was spent on the eld farm in the 
township of Hortou where, as has 
already been recited, his parents set 
tled about 1837. As George grew up, 
he took his share in farm work ; but, 
at the same time, eagerly seized everj 7 
opportunity of securing a useful educa 
tion. Thus, when he was about fiftaeu, 
he went to Burnstowu as a clerk with 
Douglas, then a well known trader, 
in whose employ he remained seven 
years. Going then to Quebec for two 
years, he came to Renfrew in 18(54 to 
take a partnership with his brother 
William, who had shortly before be 
gun business in premises on the pre 
sent site of Stevenson s furniture 
store. There was no early closing 
then, but George evidently found time 
for certain evening strolls, as he 
brought them to a climax, with which 
the passing years have made him ever 
better satisfied, by marrying in 1866 a 
daughter of .Tames Stewart, one of the 

Second Line of Horton pioneers. That 
he gained favor in other directions as 
well is shown in this, that in 1867 
he was appointed to the position of 
Clerk of the Township of Hortou, 
which office he still holds. The part 
nership business was sold in 1869, at 
which date he purchased the site of 
his present buildings from John 
Burns, continuing, also, in business 
alone, and, for some years, tunning a 
photographic gallery in connection 
with the store. Gradually, he became 
more and more immersed in the work 
of the various offices which were 
thrust upon him as r. trusted and 
capable man. In 1872, he was appoint 
ed Division Court Clerk, Treasurer of 
the Village and Secretary-Treasurer 
of the School Board. Later, lie was 
appointed a magistrate and, as, about 
that time, we had not many legal 
lights, lie developed into a Convey 
ancer, was made a Commissioner in 
B.R. and gradually wrought into an 
extensive office business, with the re 
sult that lie closed down the other 
businesses mentioned, since which 
time he has been perhaps the most 
hard wrought office man in towu. 

In li)04, he was appointed Police 
Magistrate, in which capacity he dis- 
peus o s even-handed justice, tempered 
with mercy and guided by strong 
common sense, to the great satisfac 
tion of our peace-loving citizens. Life 
tenure, is that by which lie holds all 
his offices, so thoroughly is he trusted 
and so faithful is the service he ren 
ders. His friends sometimes point out 
to him, as his two faults, that lie is 
too obliging and too generously hos 
pitable, but he only laughs at them 
Amidst all the pressure of wearing 
work, there are certain places at 
which he seldom fails to put in an 
appearance at St. Andrews church 
and at the head of the fiinily pew 
there, generally at both services on 
Sunday ; at the Division of Sous of 
Temperance, on Thursday evening; 
and at the Loyal O. Lodge, especially 
the County Lodge, of which he has 
been several times Master and Secre- 



tary for 40 years. Fresh and vigorous 
yet, he exercises himself in his fine 
garden 011 Thomson Hill and, as 
often as lie can make it convenient, 
runs out on hunting, fishing or camp 
ing excursions for a few days. Thus 
he has all appearance of seeing many 
years yet his parents were long 
livers all his friends hope that that 
will be the case with him. 

His son Walker deals in footwear in 
the old premises ; of his daughters, 
Mrs Bowdeu lives in Pembroke , Mrs 
McKinnon and Mrs Scott are in town ; 
whilst another is one of our teachers 
and helps to make bright the home of 
as highly au esteemed couple as any 
in our quiet town. 

In the "sixties," David Airth had 
practical control of the farm of the 
pioneer Sergeant Airth although lie 
was alive most of this period. With 
the help of his younger brothers, 
David developed the propertj 7 and be 
came affluent as the years passed. To 
him and his excellent life partner 
were given a bright home life as their 
family grew up during this period 
and even began to move off into homes 
of their own. Hard-working, indus 
trious man as David Airth was, he 
found time for taking a part in many 
of the recreations that were then in 
vogne, few being able to master him 
at quoits in summer or at a game of 
checkers in the winter evenings. His 
social qualities, also, made him pop 
ular, as well as his general intelli 
gence and acquaintance with good 
books. Thus he was often honored by 
his fellows with such positions as Vil 
lage Councillor, School Trustee and 
others in connection with the church 
and various associations. Well worthy 
was he too of all these marks of favor 
and esteem, for lie was ever a reliable 
man who enthusiastically and care 
fully discharged all such duties. As 
the seventies wore on, the Curling 
Club was started. After that, his 
winter amusement was found at the 
rink, where he spent so much time 
and was so keen that he became au 
adept a curler of renown indeed, 

and, when he was on the ice, the 
worst looking end was never decided 
against his side till "Davie" had 
played his last stone, for he had a 
way of slipping in where none else 
could go. So to the end he kept it 
up and when he laid down his work 
and pla} 7 , we mourned him as the 
"good man" that he always was in 
a high sense and as the old man who 
was to the end young in heart and 
spirit beyond any in our midst. 

His trusty son, Robert, to whose 
guidance his father committed the 
farm iu the "eighties," was suddenly 
cut off in the prime of manhood. 
Thus David took hold again, seeing 
the century out in harness, then soon 
passing. His good helpmeet is still 
with us, but is getting frail and the 
days pass quietly now at the old 
homestead to which so many delight 
ed to go, for that we would be heart 
ily welcomed was ever sure. 

When McDonald and Rankiu closed 
their business in Renfrew, John Mc 
Lean occupied their premises for per 
haps a year, likely whilst building 
the dwelling and shop on the corner 
of Raglan and Patrick street to which 
he went, eventually removing to a 
farm beyond the Pinnacle where the 
rest of his life was spent. 

In I8t!4, William Airth, the young 
est son of the Sergeant, opened up 
business in the same stand. For a 
few mouths he had with him Henry 
Barr, his nephew, and a son of the 
pioneer David Barr. Henry, who was 
not attracted by the shut-in life, went 
then to his present fine farm in Brom 
ley, where he has prospered greatly 
and has been honored by being elected 
as M.L. A. for the North Riding of 

William Airth continued in business 
alone from the spring cf 1805, doing 
an increasingly flourishing trade till 
1870, when, tiring of the confinement, 
he sold out to Barr & Wright. For 
some years after he led a life of leisure 
iu his comfortable home on Opeougo 
street. As his family grew up, he set 
to work again, buying the Coomb, 1 - 



farm within the village limits. He 
renovated everything about that rather 
run down homestead, initiated his 
boys into the mysteries of farming for 
profit, took an intelligent and helpful 
interest in municipal affairs and served 
many times as Councillor and School 
Trustee. Though the youngest and, 
apparently, the most robust of the 
Airth brothers, he succumbed to an 
attack of typhoid fever in the " nine 
ties " whilst yet comparatively a 
vigorous man. Mrs Airth was also 
called away about the same time. Mr 
Airth was of a more retiring disposi 
tion than his brothers and took little 
part in the amusements in which some 
of them delighted, but he will be re 
membered as an upright, steady-going 
citizen, whose purposeful life was 
helpful to the interests of the com 
munity in which he spent most of 
his days. His sons did not perhaps 
take so kindly to farming as their 
father expected, as one by one. when 
they grew up, they turned to other 
occupations, till now the tine farm 
has passed into other Jiauds Two 
sons Harry and Tom are still with 
us ; Willie is dead and Robert is in 
Winnipeg. Two daughters Mrs James 
and Mrs J. Flaunt died early, whilst 
Lizzie is a trained nurse living in 

It has previously been told that a 
young Scotchman named David Barr 
came to the settlement in the early 
"thirties and in partnership with 
:Sunnyside" Forrest, a married man, 
bought the farm just adjoining tho 
village to the south, locating, also, 
some lots in Bagot and Admaston 
townships. Later, David Barr, hav 
ing become sole owner of the Hill 
farm, set up house with a daughter of 
Sergeant Airth as his life partner.. 
They were blessed with a large family 
of sons and daughters, who, as young 
people living in such close proximity, 
might be looked upon as having al 
ways been part and parcel of the vil 
lage life. David Barr and his wife, 
who did such earnest and telling work 
on that nearby farm, are worthy of 

special remembrance in these aDnals 
for they were such true friends and 
neighbors as brought them into close 
contact with many in those pioneer 
days, and to the end, they were pro 
verbial for the kindness that they ex 
tended to all with whom they met 
They well earned, by the it prudent 
thrift and industry, the success which 
crowned their efforts and which en 
abled them to give a fair start in life 
to each of their large family. But, 
beyond such material heritage to 
which those sous and daughters fell 
heir was the careful training which 
has so strongly influenced their several 
lives and has proved to be the richest 
endowment that was left them by 
those honored pioneers. His son Wil 
liam no more just and upright; man 
is iu our midst to-day followed his 
father in the old homestead, which he 
in turn lias now handed over to his 
like-minded son David the third, as 
he might be called. Others of his sons 
settled in Admaston and Bromley, one 
of M7hom went eventually to Nebraska, 
all doing well and reflecting credit on 
the* honored name. Two daughters are 
living Mrs Donald McLaren, <rf Me 
Nab, and Mrs Jackson, of Dakota, 
whilst Mrs Duncan McLaren, of 
Bromley, died a few yers ago. Turn 
ing from this digression we may now 

David Barr, sou of the pioneer, be 
came a fixture in Renfrew when, in 
1865. he became clerk in the store of 
his uncle, William Airth. Previous 
to that lie had wrought on the farm, 
going in the winter to the shanties 
from the time that he was seventeen 
until, when he was twenty-two lie 
took thought about getting further 
education - which led him to return to 
school under John Park and also for a 
time in Perth. In his position as 
clerk he became popular with his 
uncle s customers and acquired such 
knowledge of the details of the in 
creasing business and of the standing 
of those customers as made him a most 
valuable assistant. Thus, when his 
uncle Was tired of the indoor life, he 



was in a position to take hold, which 
he did in 1870, entering into partner 
ship with Mr A. A. Wright, who had 
been a teacher, and was well qualified 
to attend to the books and financing. 
A strong combination was thus form 
ed which resulted in an increasingly 
prosperous and profitable business be 
ing done for many years. In 1881, 
the firm built the large brick store 
which was a necessity on account of 
their extended operations. There they 
continued together till near the end 
of the "eighties," when Mr Barr 
retired with a competency, whilst at 
the old stand Mr Wright continued 
until the substantial and handsomely 
equipped building was burned in 1899, 
since which time there has been 
nothing doing on that once busiest 
corner in town. Mr Barr had tasted 
some of the delights of travelling 
during his active life, having visited 
Britain in 1874, 1881 and 1883, and 
the Northwest in 82 and 87. 
When he became a man of leisure^ 
he and Mrs Barr whom he had mar 
ried in 1876 and their three daugh 
ters, made extensive tours in Europe 
(1888) and in the West in 1889, re 
turning again to the West in 1895, 
going also to Jamaica in 1900 for the 

He entered into partner hip again 
with his nephew, David Barr Mc 
Laren, and after Robert Airth s death 
took up his business north of the 
Bonnechere. Later, this firm moved 
to the corner near St. Andrew s church 
but, as the younger man decided to 
revert to farming, Mr Barr returned 
to the life of leisure again, about the 
close of the "nineties." Perhaps 
finding time hanging heavily on his 
hands, he, some three or four years 
ago, accepted the position of post 
master, which he still retains though, 
as he has passed through a critical ill 
ness lately, he is not allowed to do 
much work at present. 

His interests outside of business 
have been very varied. He sat for 
years in the Council. He once led a 
forlorn hope for the Liberals as a can 

didate for the Commons. He render 
ed yeoman service at the building of 
the new St. Andrew s church of 
which he is an exemplary attendant. 
The Fire Brigade, the Agricultural 
Society, of which he is still presi 
dent, and the Farmer s Institute, 
have all owed much to his help. For 
over thirty years he has been an en 
thusiastic Free Mason made in 
Mother Kilwinning Lodge on his first 
visit to Scotland in which fraternity 
he has held high positions. He is as 
enthusiastic a curler as was his uncle 
David Airth. All these seal .the as 
surance that he has been "aye reddy" 
te take a strong hand in all our do 
ings, to which it may be added that 
as a warm friend, a ready helper of 
the distressed, a prudent adviser, and 
a "four square man" he has an honor 
ed place in the community. We all 
say may lie long be spared to take his 
comfort in his beautiful home in the 
soutli end, which is made bright for 
him and Mrs Barr by his cultured 
daughters, two of whom are there 
with them, and another, who is a 
trained nurse is at present residing iu 
New York. 

A. A. Wright did not come to Ren 
frew till 1870. hut the names Barr & 
Wright were so long bracketed that 
mention of his doiugs may appropri 
ately be made here. Born in Athens, 
Leeds County, he made good use of 
the well known educational privileges 
of that village Thus, he early en 
tered the teaching profession in which 
he reached high standing when in 
charge of a school at Lachine, Qne. 
Thence lie came to us in 1870 and in 
1872 ho brought one of Lachine s. 
young ladies to share his home and 
fortunes and, as he would say, to be 
the chief blessing of his life. The 
business of the partners prospered, as 
lias been already told, a noteworthy 
point being that, almost at the outset, 
they cut out the liquor department, 
action which thev never had cause to 
regret. When he and Mr Barr dis 
solved partnerhip, about 1887. he con 
tinned to do business prosperously at 



the old stand until 1899. Theu the 
fine building, with its up-to-date ap 
pointments, and the whole of the 
large stock were destroyed by fire. 
He did not rebuild and no longer 
carried on the general business. The 
site, however, he retained until the 
present year (1907) when he disposed 
of it to another party. 

Not long after Mr Wright set up hi? 
home, he purchased the Dr. Evan s 
residence to which several acres of 
land were attached. He then turned 
his attention to dairying, horticulture 
and pomology, in which lines his 
name is well known throughout the 
Province. His experiments in seek 
ing to secure varieties of apple trees 
suited to the climatic conditions have 
been worth very much to our North 
ern Counties and well deserved the 
honor which he lias long held as a 
Director of the Provincial Horticult 
ural Society. 

He, early, secured experts to give 
demonstrations on butter making 
throughout the County, which led to 
the institution of "Travelling Dair 
ies. He was largely instrumental, 
along with Mr Barr. in making the 
South Renfrew Farmers Institute 
successful and of large advantage to 
many of our farmers. His crowning 
success in this line was attained when, 
as a result of his efforts largely, the 
Renfrew Creamery was completed and 
opened by Lord Aberdeen, after which 
date Renfrew became known as "The 
Creamery Town." 

About the middle "eighties" his 
enthusiasm took the direction of elec 
trical research, which led to his in 
stalling the first lighting plant in this 
section. To this branch business he 
still clings and his five sons are fol 
lowing in his footsteps with eminent 
success He is at the present time 
President of the Canadian Electrical 

In all these years he has been an 
educational force in the community, 
being one of the perpetual members of 
the School Board and deserving of 
much of the credit for Renfrew s fav 

ourable standing as an educational 

From the first he took active in 
terest in municipal and political 
affairs but, mainly because he was 
ultra-progressive in his ideas, it was 
long the case, as he said himself, that 
he could not hope to hold any office 
by election. With the beginning of 
the new century, however, the place 
which suited well his varied gifts 
was bestowed upon him and he is now 
serving his second term as Member for 
South Renfrew in the Commons. His 
electors all admit that he has been a 
good representative, though of course 
he will have tn fight his way if he is 
to remain in the position for other 

He and Mrs Wright have always 
taken deep interest in the moral wel 
fare of the community, not only by 
generously aiding every movement in 
that direction, but also by a long and 
faithful personal service. It is a 
very quiet home life that they lead 
together now, as practically all their 
family have gone out to their life 
work elsewhere, but they continue 
their interest in what is going on 
around them. Mr Wright, of course, 
is as active and pushing in his par 
ticular lines as ever he was and Mrs 
Wright devotes much time to church 
and temperance work. 

In ISfifi, Mr and Mrs Jas. Carswell, 
who were both natives of Pakenham 
township and who were married the 
preceding year, set up their home on 
the site now occupied by Carswell & 
Go s store. He came as the represent 
ative of the firm of Thistle, Francis 
& Carswell, then working on the 
Black Donald Creek limits and, after 
18fi7, on the Petawawa limits. In 
those days, when supplies could get no 
further lihan Almonte, or after a 
while to Sand Point, when also, the 
visiting of the shanties entailed many 
long drives, Mr Carswell was a very 
busy man indeed. His business 
brought him into contact with many 
people, to whom he commended him 
self from the first as a straight-for- 



ward, reliable man, whose kindly 
nature and readiness to lend a help 
ing hand to friends, to those who did 
business with him and to his 9m. 
ployees, made him very popular. His 
reputation has continued throughout 
all the years ami there is no more 
highly respected man in our town than 
the quiet, home-loving occupant of 
the "Hill" residence. In 1872, his 
first home was destroyed by the dis 
astrous fire that demolished the Fer 
guson block which stood alongside. 
At that time Mr Oarswell bought one 
of the Robert Mclntyre farms and 
built on the ideal spot known as 
"The Hill." Farming being very 
much to his taste, he afterwards be- 
name the most exteusive land-owner 
in our neighborhood bv securing a 
large block of the MoDou^all Estate. 
There he has extensive herds of Here 
ford and Poll Angus cattle, and car 
ries on farming operations with great 
zest and probably witli profit 

Well on in the "eighties," he turn 
ed his attention to another branch of 
lumbering, when, in company with 
Harvey Francis, a nephew, he built a 
large sawmill at Oalabogie. In a few 
years Mr Francis retired Tnen the 
l;\te Edward Mackay, who became his 
son-in-law, took up the partnership, 
giving his attention also to the ex 
tensive stores which were opened in 
Renfrew and Oalabogie. To these 
business interests Mr Carswell has 
devoted himself almost entirely since 
Mr Mackay s death. At. the present 
time he is seeking to dispose of the 
Oalabogie business, as lumber is get 
ting scarce. Thus, it seems that he 
may soon confine himself to the 
direction of his farm and his other 
interests in town, finding in that way 
such healthful scope for his energies 
as is necessary, for lie is yet a com 
paratively young and vigorous man. 

He ha& all along taken a deep in 
terest in agricultural affairs For 
years he wrought with characteristic 
energy an President of the S. Renfrew 
Agricultural Society, he and his 
friand Robert McLaren so long Sec- 

retar3 standing by it through a 
"wilderness journey" of over thirty 
years, after which they handed it over 
as a flourishing institution into other 
hands. Similar work has been done 
by him as President of the Creamery 
Oo., which he has carefully piloted 
through many difficulties and is now 
confidently hoping that he shall soon 
have the pleasure of declaring a divi 
dend. On other Boards, also, he has 
diligently served, in every case plac 
ing those whosi interests he cared for 
under great obligation to him. 

There is no doubt of his interest 
in municipal matters but, except at 
one or two critical periods in our 
history, he has declined to take a 
place in the Council. Tu politics, 
also, he is known only us a quiet, 
though no doubt an interested and 
effective worker. 

At home, where he delights to be, 
one gets to know him as the genial 
whole-souled friend, generous and 
friendly above most men. There, 
also, Mrs Oarswell holds loving sway 
and, together, they devise many help 
ful ministries which are quietly 
carried out. but which have brought 
comfort an i courage to many in 
times of distress and need. Their 
family are all near by them, which 
makes them well content. Thus the 
years are passing, but the fervent 
wish of their many friends is that 
they may yet be spared to pass many 
and happy years amongst^us. 

Alex. BarnPt s early days were 
spent on the farm at Ashdod, Town 
ship of Bagot. which he still holds. 
Whilst yet a lad ho went to the 
shanty, where he steadily rose until 
he became well known as a thorough 
ly equipped bush-man. Not content 
with even a foreman s position, he 
commenced business for himself in 
1860, operating for five years on the 
Madawaska, where he made headway 
from the beginning, clearing about 
$2,000 ia the third year, but lost most 
of that in a couple of bad years fol 
lowing. Nothing daunted, he wrought 
on the Bonnechere in 1865, still 



"making good." In 1866, he and 
Wm. Bannerman bought a small limit 
on the Little Bonnechere which they 
wrought for two years. Then Wm. 
Mackay came to their aid, the Little 
Bonuechere limits as a whole were 
purchased fiom the Egan estate, and 
the firm of Barnet, Bannerman & Co. 
soon became known as one of the 
flourishing concerns of the Upper 
Ottawa. In 1874. Baunerman retired, 
the firm of Barnet and Mackay con 
tinuing the business with such pru 
dence and energy that they weathered 
the storms that swamped so many 
strong concerns about 1878. and car 
ried on their business thereafter with 
marvellous success, at length selling 
out their holding to the McLachlins 
at a very high price, near the end of 
the "eighties " 

In 1869, Mr Barnet also entered 
into partnership with T. Mackie, of 
Pembroke, in working a small limit 
near Lake Dore, which led to their 
working together in other ventures 
till on in thi "nineties," with very 
successful results. 

In 1867 he marrie 1 Miss Green, tak 
ing her to the oLl home in Ashdod for 
two years. In order to be near his 
business centre, they then came to 
Renfrew, settling first in the house 
on the Dr Evans estate, just south of 
thu creek. In 1870, they removed to 
the house then on the site of their 
present fine residence, which with 
the 50 acres attached he purchased 
from Wm. Banuerman. In the com 
fortable old house most of their fami 
ly of ten children were born and the 
years glided by in joy. They have 
had their share of joy also in the new 
borne, but mingled witli lasting heart- 
sorrow, us two promising sons have 
been called away, the elder of the 
two being drowned at the mouth of 
the Petawawa when hip father was 

Many happy gatherings of friends 
have there been in their comfortable 
home, pleasant memories of which 
linger with those who were privileged 
to take part. Now, when so many of 

the sous and daughters are away, 
there is less stir, but always a hearty 
welcome to those who spend a little 
while with them in their quieter home 

Perhaps the most leisurely time iu 
his busy life was that which he en 
joyed after the Bonnechere limits 
were sold. It was not to be expected 
that so pushing a man should retire 
whilst yet so young. So. in a couple 
of years he was at work "again in his 
old line, beginning also to initiate his 
boys into its mysteries, and with 
them as helpers, he has continued 
successfully ever since. In that line, 
also, he has bought and sold to ad 
vantage and has extensive interests in 
British Columbia. In other lines, also, 
he has tried his hand and report says, 
with gratifying results. In fact he 
is reputed to be a kind of Midas and 
that all he touches is sure to turn 
into gold. The truth is, no doubt, 
that he is a prudent, careful, farsee- 
ing man who gives his closest atten 
tion to any business which he under 
takes and so is generally successful. 
One thing is generally admitted, that 
in his prosperity he still continues 
the same true hearted, helpful friend 
that he was in the early days. 

He has not mixed much in muni 
cipal affairs but, in some critical 
times, he haa readily taken hold and 
has taken a se^t in the Council. In 
politics he has been more active, but 
he has steadily refused to become the 
candidate of his party. He has given 
advice, time and other aid to enter 
prises promoted for upbuilding the 
town, such as the Creamery. 

To all good causes he is a generous 
contributor and in a very quiet way 
he has lent a strong helping hand to 
very many. 

Of late years his health has been 
rather delicate but, as he takes great 
care, his friends hope that he may 
be long spared to us yet, for he is one 
of those who can ill be spared, having 
this best of all records that, in the 
"highest sense" he is a good man. 



Wm. Bannermin was one of several 
brothers who came from Scotland in 
this period, all finding occupation in 
or about Renfrew through the help of 
their uncle, Wru. Mackay. About 
1864, Wrn. Bannerman was a clerk in 
his uncle s branch store in Burns- 
town, where he not only gained 
knowledge of Canadian business 
methods, but also became personally 
popular. AH has been already noted, 
he entered into partnership with A. 
Barnet, in 1866, and, as Mr Mackay 
joined them a little later, the con 
cern prospered greatly. 

Mr Bannermau, about 1868, married 
a young lady from Eganville, settling 
in the house which was so long the 
home of Mr Barnet. In 1870 hp pur 
chased "Greeulaw. " long the home 
of Wm. Morris, which then again be 
came a popular place to which to 
drive out with intent to spend a 
pleasant evening. 

In 1874 he retired from the firm 
with such large assets as might have 
assured him a lifetime of luxurious 
leisure. But he had determined to 
devote himself to politics, to which he 
gave most of his attention for several 
years. After a couple of unsuccessful 
contests he became the member for 
South Renfrew for rlie Commons. 
Unfortunate ventures in lumbering, 
about 1878, the heavy expanse of so 
many hotly congested elections and 
his general open-handedness to the 
large numbsr who sought his aid soon 
landed him in financial difficulties, 
which, in that time of dire depres 
sion, he could not overcome, which 
led to the loss of his wealth, much 
of which was unduly sacrificed. He 
then went to position in the North 
West aud. at length, to California, 
where lie still lives. Warm-hearted 
and generous to a fault, there are 
many who have good cause to re 
member him in the kindliest way. 

John Bannerman, who also was 
clerk for his uncle ?n Renfrew, suc 
ceeded his brother in the branch at 
Burnstown. In two or three years 
he returned to enter into partnership 

with P. S. Stewart, in which he was 
assisted by his brother William. He 
sold to Jas. Stewart in 1872, after 
which he began to turn his attention 
to lumbering, especially after William 
turned to politics, but, as we have 
seen, their venture did not pan out 
well. He had married after his re 
turn to Renfrew and, eventually, he 
secured a good position on the C.P. R. 
at Kamloops, whither they removed 
in the early eighties. Later, he 
was in business in Vancouver aud is 
said to be now in quite comfortable 
circumstances in that city. 

The other brothers, James, Sage and 
Joseph, also went west and have 
found their place in the Province of 

J. L. McDougall, Jr., was one of 
Renfrew s bright boys who took a 
foremost place in Mathematics when 
he graduated at Toronto University 
(likely our first graduate). Soon he 
was called, through the death of his 
father, to the strenuous practical task 
of managing the large estate. With 
all diligence he devoted himself to 
this work and with a large measure 
of success. Renfrew was proud of 
him as a scholar, was even prouder 
of him as a devoted son and brother, 
and had great satisfaction in the way 
he threw himself into the business of 
life. Tims, when at Confederation 
day, the South Riding was formed, he 
was elected both to the Legislature 
aud the Commons. When dual repre 
sentation was abolished he sat in the 
Commons with a short intermission, 
till 1878, at which timo he was ap 
pointed Auditor-General for the Dom 
inion, a position which he resigned a 
couple of years ago. 

In 1869 he entered into partnership 
with R C. Mills in lumbering on 
limits they purchased on the Du 
Moiue River. For years they seemed 
to be making good but, when the 
depression came, (1878) they could 
not weather the gale and the Mc 
Dougall estate was heavily involved. 

In 1870, he married Marion Morris, 
whose bright and affable disposition 



and winning personality made her 
very popular and their home was one 
of the most attractive in our com 
munity. He w-s helpful to the 
town s general interests, especially 
in negotiations about the Railway, 
but the increasing pressure of his 
business cause:! him soon to withhold 
himself from holding any municipal 
office. Their removal to Ottawa 
made quite a blank and many follow 
ed his career with interest for 3 T ears 
after. That he had peculiar fitness 
for the position has been well attested 
and he has set a high standard of ex 
cellence for those who may be his 

In recognition of his scholarly at 
tainments his Alma Mater bestowed 
on him the honorary degree of LL.D. 
He has had recognition, also, of his 
distinguished services to the State, 
having been created a C. M.G. at the 
time of the Prince of Wales visit to 
Canada. A serious attack of paralysis 
which occurred not long after his re 
tirement caused much anxiety to hig 
friends but, happily, he has so far re 
covered that there is hope that he 
may yet do useful work, and be spared 
to those who are in his home for years 
to come. 

Samuel McDougall was only a lad 
at the time of his father s death, but 
soon after he became initiated into 
business under direction of his 
brother. Thus, about the end of this 
period he was actively engaged in 
the management of the part of the 
estate which included the store and 
the saw mill. McDougall and Bell 
became partners for some years in the 
general business, doing a very con 
siderable trade, which was much 
fostered by its connnection with the 
other McDougall interests. In the 
crisis, which came about 1878, Sam 
uel managed to retain a footing, 
eventually moving up town to the 
new brick store, almost opposite the 
Ottawa House, where for a number 
of years he did an extensive and pro 
fitable general business, besides some 
jobbing in lumber and produce. In 

the meantime he married Miss 
Rochester, a sister on the mother s 
side of Mrs J. L. McDougall, jr., and 
much like her in disposition, as well 
as of like popularity in our social 
circles. They set up their home on 
Renfrew street, and there, surrounded 
in the end by a large family, they 
passed many happy years. Mr Mc 
Dougall, in later years, removed 
further down the street, but perhaps 
made a mistake in getting so far 
from the business centre. Anyway 
he did not find it answer and, as 
there were openings for the sons and 
daughters in Ottawa, the whole fam 
ily removed there some four or five 
years ago, thus severing the last link 
in connection of our most consider 
able pioneer family with Renfrew. 
Alexander McDougall, who turned 
his attention to the farming opera 
tions of the estate, and who after his 
marriage lived a short distance from 
town on a farm on the "McDougall 
road," about the end of the "Seven 
ties" went on an exploring trip to 
the West, his brother Campbell ac 
companying him. Very sadly it hap 
pened that, when in the mountain 
region, an unsuspected heart weakness 
developed, by which he was suddenly 
cut off, which, as will be easily 
understood, plunged his near relations 
into deepest sorrow and caused genu 
ine grief to the many friends amongst 
whom he had been so popular. 

Campbell McDougall was yet at 
school in this period but, in the later 
"Seventies," he found employment in 
the Post Office with Mr Mackay, 
where he remained several years, be 
coming also one of the most popular 
young men of our village. Later, he 
entered the service of one of the Nova 
Scotian banks, being quickly appoint 
ed Agent of one of its branches. 
Afterwards he married and was pro 
moted to a more important Agency. 
But after a few years, the asthma 
which had seized him in boyhood 
became so threatening that he re* 
moved to Southern California, where 
he busied himself at fruit raising. 



At length the asthira returned, gained 
the mastery and carried hira off, in 
the "nineties," whilst comparatively 
a young man. Of the daughters. Miss 
McDougall was her mother s com 
panion to the end, another is Mrs 
London, wife of ex-President London 
of the University of Toronto, and the 
third is the wife of Mr Allan, a bank 
er in Halifax. 

Of the members of the family of the 
pioneer James Stewart of the second 
line of Horton who became helpful 
workers in our midst, Mrs Geo. Eady 
and Mrs James Ward have been al 
ready mentioned. 

John Stewart, whe succeeded his 
father in the old homestead, was witli 
us for a time in his early days, when 
lie learned the trade of shcemakiug 
with Wm. Dickson. He became better 
known to us later on, when he and 
his like-minded wife became nored 
for their hospitality and for their 
abundant kindness to the needy and 
distressed. Now that she who so 
lovingly aided him in all these acts 
of kindness has been called away, he 
has become such a frequent visitor 
and is so deeply interested in the 
charitable work of onr town, that he 
is counted as one of the good helpers 
on whom we can always rely. True- 
hearted and open handed friend that 
he is, lie is loved by r any and re 
spected by all who know him. 

James Stewart was one of the active 
young men of the village in the 
early years of this period, when he 
learned and wrought at the trsde of 
tinsruithiug with James Ward. After 
a while he settled down to business 
in that line in Pembroke, where lie 
still continues and where he has done 
his share in the development of the 

Donald Stewart was a teacher in 
his early days. He turned aside from 
that for a year or two, going to 
Montreal, first to a Business College, 
afterwards to a situation as book 
keeper. After hi* return l,e was for 
several years the successful Principal 
of our public school, holding that 

position till the end of 1872. He 
then removed to Pembroke, accepting 
the position of bookkeeper for one of 
the lumbering and milling concerns. 

Before leaving here he had married 
a Miss Ferguson from the neighbor 
hood of Smith s Falls and as they were 
both very popular, as well as helpful 
workers, there was much regret when 
they removed. Happily, they return 
ed after four or five years, he becom 
ing bookkeeper for Baruet and Mac- 
kay. He continued with Mr Baruet 
in all his remaining years, holding 
also the position of Collector of 
Custom* for many years 

After their return they speedily 
fell into their old place, theirs being 
one of those bright, cheery homes in 
which friends are delighted to while 
away an hour. Many a game of 
quoits was eagerly contested in the 
yard, few being able to best Mr 
Stewait in that favorite pastime of 
those days. An enthusiast was lie at 
croquet, also, when it was in vogue. 
At length he gave himself with his 
whole heart aud might to curling, be 
coming one of the crack players of 
the Renfrew club. These, for diver- 
son aud needed exercise, but he never 
allowed them to interfere with the 
higher work to which he devoted 
himself witli peculiar helpfulness and 

To the Sons of Temperance he gave 
valuable aid, as he did also to the 
Bible and Tn\ct Societies aud similar 
agencies for promoting the moral 
welfare of the community. Perhaps 
the work in which he delighted most 
and in which he exerted the largest 
influence, was that connected with 
teaching the bible clas i J St. An 
drew s Church. Year after year he 
was always at his post, always pre 
pared and always pressing home the 
truth on the hearts of those he taught. 
No man of his day did more import 
ant work or was more helpful to the 
ministers, or to the best interests, of 
that congregation, of which he was 
in his latter years an honored and 
efficient elder. He also had an abid- 



ing interest in the educational inter 
ests of the town and gave long and 
valuable service as a Trustee. 

As it seemed to us, too eaily he 
was called away from all the service 
for which he was so fitted and which 
he did so well. For, just as the new 
century had well begun, lie contracted 
pneumonia, which speedily carried off 
this good and faithful man from the 
loved ones in the home, from the em 
ployer who loved and trusted him as 
a friend, and from the many on whom 
his work had made lasting impres 
sions for good. A just man he, and 
his memory endures in the commun 
ity in which he held so distinctive 
and honorable a place. 

Mrs Stewart, with her son and three 
daughters, still remain with us. She 
keeps up her interest iu the work to 
which they delighted to devote the :i- 
selves together in the happy days of 
the past so there is much peace and 
brightness id the old home still. 

Several cousins of the Stewarts just 
mentioned sons of Daniel Stewart, an 
Admaston pioneer who eventually set 
tled in Horton north of the Bonne- 
chere have also been effective helpers 
in the up-building of the town. 

Peter S. Stewart came from the 
farm in 1863, to take a junior s place 
in Wm Mackay s store. The indica 
tions are that he wrought hard and 
had ambitious views. For, in no 
long time he became Mr Mackay s most 
trusted assistant in the store and post 
office. In 1867 he sought a wider 
sphere, entering into partnership with 
Malcolm B Mclntyro, another clever 
young clerk in the village. They en 
tered on a general business in the old 
Mair store on the site of the present 
Stewart Bros. block, which site P. S. 
purchased earl} . Being already favor 
ably known, they prospered from the 
outset. Mclutyre, however, soon saw 
a more attractive opening in connec 
tion with the old R. Mclntyre busi 
ness, which led him to dissolve part 
nership with Stewart in 1869. John 
Bannerman at once took the vacant 
place, which he held till 1872, at 

which date Jas. Stewart came from 
Middleville, bringing abundant ex 
perience and energy, with consider 
able cash. He bought out Banner 
man, and, in about a year, arrange 
ments were completed for a large ex 
tension of Peter s already flourishing 
business. Two firms were formed : 
that known as Stewart Bros., doing a 
general business at the old stand : and 
that known as P. S. Stewart & Co. 
of which John Smith (tanner) was 
for a time a partner, --confining to 
hardware, being housed first in the 
stone store near the Exchange Hotel. 
About 1878, John Smith retired from 
the latter firm and removal was made 
to the store then purchased from R. 
O. Mills, iu which the business is 
still carried on. 

In 1871 Mr Stewart married a daugh 
ter of Jotin Smith (tanner,) then be 
ginning that quiet, pleasant home life 
of which their friends know and in 
which their son and daughters have 
grown up, have been carefully nurtur 
ed, well educated and in every way 
prepared for the duties of life. Quiet 
life they prefer, but they ate deeply 
interested ia all the best work going 
on around them, for the furtherance 
of which they delight to plan, to put 
forth the helpful hand, and to give 
generous aid. 

No man in the community is more 
trusted, nor is there anyone who has 
a more thorough and intelligent grasp 
of affairs. Thus, lie was in a manner 
forced by his fellow citizens to give 
his attention to municipal matters at 
a very critical period and was for a 
number of years Reeve of the village. 
Then, when many were looking that 
he would one day be Mayor of the 
town that had been set up, he an 
nounced that his work was done (how 
well we all knew) and he went back 
to the quiet life. 

About four years ago the long time 
partnership was r3-arrauged. Then 
emerged the firm of P. S. Stewart & 
Son, the father having trained his 
only son for some years to take the 
place he now holds. Both Mr and 



Mrs Stewart are so comparatively 
young yet that friends hope that, sur 
rounded as they are by children and 
grandchildren, there may be many 
helpful and happy years before these 
faithful helpers of the years gone by. 
J<sraes Stewart went from the Ad- 
maston farm to Carleton Place as far 
back as the "fifties." He learned 
tinsmithing under the eye of James 
Ward, who was at that time an em 
ployee of his brother, David Ward. 
When his apprenticeship ended, he 
went west and wrought for a consid 
erable time at Oshawa, where he met 
with the well-known Edward Oars- 
well and was confirmed in those 
strong temperance ideas to which he 
has always adhered. Returning to 
Carleton Place, he began to devote 
himself to the business side of David 
Ward s undertakings, which led to his 
employment, after a while, in a 
branch store at Middleville. About 
1863 he bought out the premises and 
stock of that business and, as there 
was a dwelling attached, he per 
suaded Miss Affleck to take charge 
and has found her goodly fellowship 
and thrifty housewifery to have been 
among the chief blessings of his life. 
For ten years he wrought on content 
edly and prosperously. Then, quite 
suddenly there came the opportunity 
to sell out and, almost before he 
knew that it was in earnest, he found 
himself out of business. Coming at 
once to Renfrew, he negotiated the 
partnership with his brother which 
we have already noticed ; built the 
neat brick house on Argyle afreet 
which, when his family had become 
large, lie exchanged for his present 
desirable residence ; and settled down 
as manager of Stewart Bros. firm. 
Year by year, the business increased 
until it was found necessary to build 
*-.he brick block (about 18831 in which 
the business is still carried on. He 
speedily became known as one of our 
most reliable business men, cautious, 
shrewd, far seeing and, all along, 
especially successful as a dealer in 
grains and dairy produce. 

His intelligent interest in outside 
affairs and his good reputation as a 
man of business have resulted in his 
being called upon to occupy various 
positions of trust. On several occa 
sions lie has held a sear in the Coun 
cil For many vears he w;vs a member 
of the School Board. All along he 
has been oue of the most active direc 
tors of the Creamery Co. For more 
thau twenty yoars ho lias been an 
elder in St. Andrew s Church, arid 
for most of that time one of its most 
efficient Sabbath School teachers. In 
short he has been one of our helpful 
men, a sound advisor, a prudent ad 
ministrator and a generous supporter 
of every good cause. 

He and Mrs Stewart have been 
greatly blessed in their large family, 
so responsive have they been to their 
loving home training and so thor 
oughly have they taken advantage of 
the excellent educational privileges 
which were provided for them. His 
eldest sou Daniel W. ig now his 
right hand man in the firm ; James is 
a distinguished engineer in the Pitts, 
burg, Pa., region; E. J. is one of 
our young lawyers (all of these are 
distinguished graduates of Queen s 
College); two of his daughters are 
married, the others are in the home 
or engaged in teaching and his young 
est sou is likely to follow his brothers 
in attending Queen s. 

Mr Stewart is still at the old stand, 
hearty and fit for business; whilst 
Mrs Stewart still holds loving sway 
in the home. May they both be with 
us for many years to come ! 

Donald Stewart was with us in this 
period devoting himself to business in 
various lines. For a time he was the 
village butcher and for another whil 
he was in the livery business. He 
continued witli us till well on in the 
seventies, married a Miss Gibbons 
and, eventually, took the Western 
fever, emigrating to Dakota, where 
he has done well. 

Robert Stewart learned the trade of 
harness-making, in which he became 
an expert. About the end of this 



period he entered into partnership 
with another expert named Hill. lu 
the little store on the corner where 
the Barnet block now stands, he did 
quite an extensive business in the 
early "seventies." Hill afterwards 
went to Ottawa but Stewart remained 
with us until the "eighties," He 
married a daughter of David Airth 
and their home was in the brick 
building near the corner of James 
Street. She died there, after whinh 
Mr Stewart and the family removed 
to Winnipeg, in which city and in 
Brandon he has held good positions 
in various large establishments in his 
own line of work. 

David Stewart came from the farm 
also, finding employment with his 
brothers Peter and Donald. Event 
ually, however, he returned to farm 
life and now lives about three miles 
from the village on the Adamston 

T. R. Stewart, who, belonging to 
another branch of the Stewart family 
and whose father was one of the set 
tiers on the second line along side of 
the pioneer James Stawart, left the 
farm which lie had inherited and had 
wrought for some years, coming to 
Renfrew well on in the "sixties." 
He then set up a grocery in James 
Airth s old stand in which he was 
largely successful. In a few years he - 
purchased from Robert McLaren the 
lot on the opposite corner, on which 
lie built the store and dwelling now 
owned by David Barr. There he con 
tinued in business until his health 
failed and he died about the end of 
the "eighties." His eldest -son, Don 
ald, has been with us at intervals, 
engaged as a clerk and enjoying our 
esteem. The other members of the 
family two sous and one daughter 
have found their places in the West. 
Mr Stewart was an honorable, warm 
hearted man, passionately fond of 
music and especially of the music of 
the pipes, which always set his Celtic 
blood on fire. He married a sister of 
Robert McLaren s, a woman of lovely 
character, whose home training of her 

children made lasting impressions for 
good upon thos^ of them who, at the 
time of her death, where old enough 
to carry on her instructions with 
them into their lives. 

Dnucan F. Stewart, about 1860, 
came from the adjoining township to 
enjoy thg educational advantages of 
our Grammar school. For some years 
he taught with success in the country 
schools of the vicinity. He then 
accompanied his friend Donald Stew 
art in attending a Business College 
in Montreal, in which city he after 
wards held a situation for a time. 
In 18(58, he returned to Renfrew, 
opening then a grocery in the O Con 
nor building near the creek; about 
the same time marrying Miss John 
son, of Bonnechere. Comfortable in 
his home life and reasonably prospered 
in business, he continued at the same 
stand till well on in the "seventies" 
when lie sold out to Me Arthur and 
McNab. Soon after he established on 
a small scale the marble cutting busi 
ness in which he continued and, as he 
was himself the "traveller," added 
considerably to his income by work 
ing up quite a Fire Insurance busi 
ness. Just when he seemed in the 
way of becoming very comfortable, 
and whilst yet a comparatively young 
and vigorous man, he was about 1895 
stricken down quickly by an attack 
of typhoid. 

For a short time his son George 
was able to carry on the Fire Insur 
ance Agencies, but both he and the 
elder of his two sisters became victims 
of consumption at a very early aga. 
Thus, by the end of the century, Mrs 
Stewart and her youngest daughter 
were left alone in tho old home. 
There they live still and enjoy the 
esteem and sympathy of the friends 
who know of the pathway of trial in 
vhich they have been made to pass. 

Mr Stewart, who was an energetic 
and well-informed man, was specially 
interested in our educational affairs 
to which he rendered good service as 
a School Trustee, but his frequent 
journeyiugs did not permit of his 



devoting much time to other matters 
outside his business. 

Donald Stewart, who came from 
Beckwith about 1866, wrought as a 
journeyman blacksmith with John 
O Harro, for two or three yea-rs. 
Being an expert tradesman, with con 
siderable push, he, in 1869, set up 
business in the Knight shop which 
stood on the present site of the Barnet 
Block, Thos. Knight being in partner 
ship with him for a short time. About 
the same time .he married Miss Mary 
Ann Moore, one of Renfrew s much- 
thought-of young ladies. For ^ears 
they had their bright and cheery 
home in the stone building opposite 
the shop, which he purchased and fit 
ted very comfortably up when his 
business became prosperous. He had 
an increasing and profitable trade till 
the later "seventies" when, in com 
mon with many other tradesmen, he 
was hard hit by the then severe de 
pression. Thinking to better his posi 
tion, he removed to Douglas, but, as 
the depression was felt there also, he 
only remained two or three years. 
Returning to Renfrew, he again plied 
his trade in the old McTavish shop 
for about three y^ars. Becoming 
dissatisfied, he then joined the Ren 
frew contingent, who about the mid 
dle "eighties" settled in and around 
Grand Forks, Dakota. The latest 
reports tell us that Mrs Stewart is 
dead, that he and his children have 
been doing well, and that he himself 
is still vigorous, and has serious in 
tentions of making another move, and 
of settling in the Edmonton district. 

Thomas, sou of Thomas Knight, one 
of the second line of Hortou pioneers, 
served his apprenticeship to the black 
smith tnide in Arnprior. Coming to 
Renfrew about 1866. lie wrought as 
journeyman with P D mgall and 
O Harro until toward the end of 1868, 
afterwards entering into partnership 
with D. Stewart in what became 
known as the Knight shop About 
this time, also, he married, the part 
uers sharing in the home accommoda 
tion of the stone building opposite, 

for a time. Mr Knight went out with 
the Red River expedition and soon 
after his return went to Pembroke 
where, daring the "seventies," he 
Wrought up a quite extensive busi 
ness in blacksmithing and axe-mak 
ing. When the depression came he 
found a change necessary and return 
ing to Renfrew he took Stewart s 
place io the old shop for several 
years, having his home for most of 
that time in the house en Opeongo 
St. which he purchased from Wm. 
Airth. At length the lure of the 
west laid hold on him and he remov 
ed with his family to Ohilliwack, 
B.O., where he still remains and con 
tinues at work. 

He was a well-doing, industrious 
man who had an abiding interest in the 
temperance and other moral and re 
ligious work of the village, especially 
during the second period that he spent 
with us. He had a considerable ap 
titude for teaching and a competent 
knowledge of the Scriptures, talents 
which he used to the advantage of 
the young men of those days by giv 
ing up much time to Bible Glass 
work. Thus, he was much missed 
when he went West. 

Henry Leggett, a native of Perth, 
came to learn the trade of carriage 
making with John O Harro about 1865. 
He took in the Red River expedition 
and after his return married Salome 
Hutohins ; at about the same time 
setting up a carriage making shop, 
about opposite to the Ellis store. 
There he continued business until the 
later "eighties" when the westward 
trend of lumbering operations made it 
not so profitable. After closing down 
he was still with us for a few years, 
holding the positions of Chief of 
Police, overseer of street improve 
ments and some subsidiary municipal 
offices to which he was well 
suited, and entitled, as he had 
ever been active in village affairs and 
had taken spacial interest in the fire 
company, of which he was the first 
and long-time Captain. He and Mrs 
Leggett were highly esteemed by a 



large circle of friend^, who greatly 
regretted their departure about the 
end of the "eighties." at which time 
he secured a position with the Rath- 
bun Co. of Deseronto. Aftnr a num 
ber of years they went to Ottawa, 
where their son Henry holds a re 
sponsible position in the American 
Bank Note Co., whilst the younger 
sou, John, is well placed in Edmonton. 
At the end of their years, these help 
ers of the past were laid in our God s 
Acre on Thomson Hill. Mrs Leggett 
in 190o and Mr Leggett a year later. 

Three brothers, John, Alfred and 
David canio later and wrought in our 
village but did not become rooted, as 
did Henry; so their after wanderings 
need not bs narrated. 

Ben Loster, who hailed from the 
County of Pontiac, came to us in 
18fV, then spending three years as an 
apprentica r,o the blacksmith trade 
with Peter Djugall. For over three 
years lie wrought as a journeyman in 
Pakenham, but returned to Renfrew 
in 1873, at which time he began busi 
ness on his own account in the shop 
adjoining Henrv Leggett s carriage 
shop. After a while he took in a 
partner named Hennessy, ^ho event 
ually moved elsewhere, leaving the 
business to Lester, who has carried it 
on with a good measure of success 
ever since. For all tho j ears that 
Leggett remained in business, Lester 
and he wrought to each other s hands, 
but, when Leggett retired, these ad 
joining shops on Main street Had to 
give way to a business block, which 
caused Lester s removal to the shop 
on Hrill street, where he is still vig 
orously at work. He first married 
Christiana Beaudry, who died soon 
after the birth of a son, who is now 
at work in New Ontario Later, he 
married a Miss Gaiusford of Leeds 
County, and in their home there have 
grown u;> six daughters, one of whom 
is now Mrs Bell, of Calgary, the 
others being all in positions in town. 
There are also two boys who are yet 
at school. 

Mr Lester has not taken any active 

part in municipal affairs, except that 
for over twenty years he was an en 
thusiastic member of Victoria Fire 
Company and for some time Captain. 
He lias been also for so many years 
an Oddfellow that he will soon be 
wearing the veteran s badge. He is 
a member and a trustee of the Meth 
odist church, in which he and his 
family have long been iimong the 
active workers. And there, as well 
as beyond that pale, they are held in 
much esteem for thoir work s sake. 

Thomas Henderson, the eldest son 
of Archibald Henderson, one of the 
most respacted and progressive of the 
McNab township s early settlers, came 
to attend the Renfrew Grammar 
School in the beginning of this period. 
He devoted himself to teaching part 
ly in McNab township and partly in 
Arnprior for four or five years. About 
1867 he returned to the village as 
clerk for John McAndrew, with whom 
he remained three years. Other three 
years he "followed the river" and 
eventually became a permanent and 
helpful factor in the life and upbuild 
ing of Renfrew when, in 1873. he pur 
chased the brick making plant which 
had been used at the south side by 
Wm. Ferguson and commenced opera 
tions north of the Bonnechere, where 
his work is still carried on. We had 
not many brick buildings then, bnc 
Mr Henderson, by taking up the role 
of contractor as well as brickmaker, 
managed to add largely to their num 
ber as the years passed by. He show 
ed himself energetic, reliable and well 
informed ; commended himself to the 
favorable notice of his fellow citi 
zens, wrought his way to a good 
measure of prosperity and was called 
to the Council Board year after year 
in the "eighties." In 1886 he married 
Alis.s Mulutyre, a >oung lady who had 
then lately come from Scotland to 
join her sister Mrs Lewis McDonald ; 
and those who know the comfortable 
home in which they and their family 
live, know also that she has done 
much to help him on in the battle 
of life. From 1886 onward he wa 



chosen Reeve for four successive years, 
since which time he has not sought 
preferment in that direction, although 
his practical knowledge as a builder 
has been placed at the service of the 
village and town in several years in 
which he has acted as assessor. About 
ten years ago, he added a tile mak 
ing plant to his yards, a move which 
has been helpful to the vicinity and 
apparently to himself as well. In 
early days he was one of the en 
thusiastic and capable curlers who 
were relied on to uphold the honour 
of Renfrew and often lie skipped his 
rink to victory. Now he is busier and 
not so supple, so he leaves the fray to 
younger men. His interest in Mason 
ry was, and no doubt is yet very keen, 
though nowadays he does not obey 
the summons every meeting night* 
But he is a square man, as even the 
uninitiated can testify, an upright 
man, and witli the assistance of his 
boys now well grown and hard work 
ing, he is pushing forward, and is one 
of the practical helpers of the town s 
growth and prosper ity. 

Robert Sim, who was born iti North 
Sherbrooke, in early life learned, and 
continued to work at the trade of 
wagon making at McDonald s Cor 
ners. A serious accident made lighter 
employment advisable and he then 
spent some time in Perth gaining a 
knowledge of the art of photography 
from an artist named Morrison. He 
came to Renfrew in 1868, making a 
beginning in a portable gallery of 
Morrison s which stood on the O Con 
nor property. In a couple of years he 
removed to the corner of Opoongo 
street 1 and when Barr & Wright s 
block was built had to move to his 
present site. The large annual influx 
of shanty and river men made busi 
ness brisk in his line in those early 
days, but he lias quietly, attentively 
aud obliging!} maintained his ground 
through well nigh 40 years, thus 
making a good record for himself. 

In 1870, he married a Miss Storie of 
Dalhousie Township and he and their 
many friends know that he has been 

peculiarly blessed in the home life 
which was then began. Yet there are 
few homes which have known more of 
suffering and trouble, for Mrs Sim has 
for many years been never free 
from the torture of rheumatism, has 
twice had her hip fractured and in 
the present year lias had a slight stroke 
of paralysis. But there is, withal, 
brightness and contentment in their 
home and no one goes there without 
being helped by the recognition that 
she is one of those rare spirits, who 
in patience and in quiet confidence 
is assured that all that God does is 
best. Thus her shut-in life lias been 
a gracious ministry which has had 
an enduring influence for good, not 
only in her own home, but also to a 
circle of attached friends boyond. 
The glow of sunset begins to cast its 
rays on thyse good friends now, but 
the tender care of their two daughters 
makes the home pleasant for them 
and no trouble can rob the great 
sufferer of the rich heritage of peace 
which she has so long enjoyed. 

Thos. Leacy, who had learned the 
blacksmith trade efficiently in Lanark, 
came to Renfrew about 18K8, and 
wrought with John O Harro until he 
joined the Red River expedition. 
On his return, he formed a partner 
ship with Henry Leggett, these two 
shopmates uniting their forces in be 
ginning a carriage making and black- 
smithing business in the adjoining 
shops which then stood on the present 
site of the upper McAndrew block. 
The partnership continued until 187B, 
when Mr Leacy removed to the old 
McTavish shop, which was accounted 
a peculiarly eligible site. Perhaps, 
also, the fact that there was a dwell 
ing house attached had an influence, 
as at that time he married Miss Mary 
O Sulhvan, daughter of ,1ohn O Sul- 
livan, of Admaston, thus largely ad 
ding to the happiness and the success 
of his life. 

In 1875 he bought a property on 
Albert street South, near the corner 
of Opeongo street, on which stood a 
dwelling and an unfinished building, 



which latter he turned into a shop. 
There lie built up as substantial a 
business as there was in town, as the 
result of his industry, his excellence 
as a mechanic, his reliability as a 
man, and his obliging nature. There 
lie continued until, in 1894, he was 
carried off by an attack of jaundice 
in his forty-seventli year, in the very 
prime of a vigorous manhood. He 
did not give much attention to muni 
cipal or other matters outside of busi 
ness, but wrought hard, enjoyed the 
comfort and quietness of His home 
life and, for all else, let others 
manage, except that, like others of 
onr stalwart men, lie enrolled himself 
in Victoria Fire Coy, of which he 
was an active member for years. 

To Mr and Mrs Leacy, two sons 
were given, William, the elder, died 
when about 14 years of age. The 
younger, John J. , entered the dental 
profession, under Dr deary s in 
struction, graduated with distinction 
aud, in the five years that have since 
passed, has built up a successful nrac- 
tice in Ottawa. Mrs Leacy, who is 
still vigorous, lias her. home with 
us aud. surrounded by friends who 
regard her with esteem and affection, 
pusses her time in much comfort to 
herself and in helpfulness to others. 

James Reid, a native of Paisley, 
Scotland, came in 18W to Admaston, 
where his elder brother. Robert, had 
settled previously. In a short time he 
entered the service of Wm. Mackay as 
a clerk aad. from the time when P. 
S. Stewart left to set up business for 
himself, was in charge of the work 
in the Post Office. In thosa early days 
he became actively interested in the 
temperance and other moral and reli 
gious work of th community, as one 
of a band of young people who at that 
time were peculiarly active and inter 
ested workers in these directions. 
Thus a bent was given to his life, 
and to the lives of many others of 
them, which has been showing itself 
ever since. In 1875, he married Miss 
Mills, who had come to us from Egan- 
ville and had spent several years as a 

teacher in our Public .School. At 
that time, also, he built the comfort 
able house in the Sadler section in 
which this like-minded couple have 
spent so many years of happy home life ; 
in which there have grown up beside 
them a family wno show in the several 
spheres in life which they are now 
filling, the benefit of a wise parental 
training; and in which many helpful 
ministries h<vo been planned and car 
ried out for the benefit of others; 
especally in connection with the 
agencies of St. Andrew s Church, 
In 1877, Mr Reid became book-keeper 
for Wm. Banuerraau, but, in 1883. he 
returned to his position in the Post 
Office where he continued to be de 
puty up to tne time of Mr Mackay s 
death, in 1901. Then for a time, he 
was a clerk in his brother in-law s 
store in Eganville, until he found a 
position in the Pembroke P.O., simi 
lar to that which he held so long in 
Renfrew. He has always continued 
to have the homo of his family in 
Renfrew. But now that his sou 
Robert is in successful practise as a 
doctor in Calabogio, with his sister 
Katie presiding in his home, and his 
son James building up a similar 
practice in New Ontario, whilst the 
other daughter, Jean, a graduate of 
Queen s, is preparing for teaching, 
the home place in almost deserted. 
One coming day, we hope to see him 
back in the home in Renfrew. 

Alexander Jamieson, son of the 
popular village tailor, was about 
seven years of age when the family 
came from Scotland. His school days 
over, he found an opening which at- 
traoted him when the first, "Renfrew 
Journal" began to be issued. His 
essay as "printer s devil" came-te an 
end when, in about nine montl^f. the 


"Journal" ceased publication^ and 
"Alick" was not so enamoured (if the 
business as to seek lik e employment 
elsewhere. In a short; time he be 
came an apprentice blacksmith with 
O Harro with whom; he remained 
about two years. He then went to 

Forester s Falls where he wrought 



with his cousin Arcbia Jamieson a 
son of John Jamieson who had been 
trained as a blacksmith in Arch. 
Thomson s shop, Alick went out 
with the Red River expedition and 
on his return he soon formed a part 
nership with his cousin in a business 
in Pembroke, which they continued 
tegether till Archie s death, and 
which Alick still carries on, although 
he has been a shrewd, pushing and 
successful man, it is now more his 
pastime than his work. He married 
Miss Bella Jamieson, daughter of 
John. They have had more than 
their share of life s sorrow, having 
lost all their children by death, but 
have found solace and are active 
helpers to much good work in the 
County Town. 

John Scott, whose father, Hector 
Scott, was an Admastou pioneer, came 
first to live in Renfrew soon after 
his marriage in 1862, to Isabella, 
eldest daughter of ^lex. Jamieson. 
He then began butchering, a business 
in which he has been engaged, off 
and on, ever since After occupying 
rented premises for a few years, he 
purchased the corner on which Robert 
Drysdale wrought so long, and con 
tinued to do business there for many 
years. He eventually sold and, since 
then, has not been in business for 
himself. In his earlier days, he held 
various positions in the gift of the 
Council, being at different periods 
chief constable, overseer of streets 
and the like, for which he was spe 
cially suited as an alert, active man 
who had good knowledge of how work 
should be done. Two daughters. Mary 
Ann and Katie, are married and liv 
ing in Dauphin and Winnipeg. Bella 
and Fannie are in good positions in 
Winnipeg. Mrs Geraldi is in town. 
Alex, (of Scott & Jamieson) and 
Archie and Willie in New Ontario, 
are working on the line at which the 
father wrought and is still working. 
Mr and Mrs Scott are still vigorous ; 
and like her father, she has a fund of 
heart kindnass aud humour which 
assures her of many friends. 

David McGill had already served his 
apprenticeship as a tailor in Kilmar- 
uock when, in 1855, his parents, with 
their four children, left that ancient 
Scottish borough and emigrated to 
Canada. Landing at Quebec, they 
spent three years in that city, after 
wards moving on to Pembroke, in both 
of which places David diligently 
plied his trade. In 1860, he came to 
Renfrew where he wrought for Alex. 
Jamieson, whose daughter Mary Ann 
he married in 1865, then setting up 
his home in the stone house opposite 
the Barnet block, which has sheltered 
so many of our early inhabitants. As 
his father had died some time pre 
viously, his mother then came from 
Pembroke and made her home with 
them until her death, a couple of 
years later. In 18G8, he set up for 
himself in rooms over the Stewart & 
Mclutyre store, continuing there dur 
ing all the changes in the P. S. Stew 
art partnership until about 1878, when 
he went to Manitoba, where he re 
mained a year aud a half. Then he 
returned to spend five years more in 
his old rooms., from which he removed 
to the small store that stands on the 
old James Airtli property. In 1890, he 
removed to his present rooms in D. 
Barr s brick building, where lie stead 
ily supplies the wants of a number of 
attached customers. 

This excellent couple have lived a 
quiet life amongst us, having the af 
fection and esteem of a circle of 
friends who know their worth and 
recognize that their devout life has 
brought blessing to themselves and 
others ; among the others, especially 
to the adopted daughter who grew up 
under their care to he a chief favorite 
amongst oar young people and a 
source of trightness in their home. 
This year she was wiled away to a 
home of her own by one of our popular 
and well-rloing young men--Geo. 
Fife, electrician. 

Mr McGill has held aloof from all 
political and municipal affairs and 
the only "Society" he ever connected 
himself with was the Sons of Temper- 



ance, of which he was five years a 
member in the early days, but whose 
abstinence principles he has held to 
ever since. We know him then, as a 
long-time good citizen, as a trades 
man who does his work well, and as 
an earnest man who has a true in- 
terest in the moral and religious 
welfare of the community, in which, 
also, Mrs McGill is like-minded. For 
one who has been so long at work he 
is wonderfully well preserved, which 
gives his friends- hope that he may 
be spared to them for some years yet. 

In 1873, his brother Andrew came 
from Pembroke to work with Thos. 
Henderson in the brickyard. He went 
to Manitoba in company with David 
about 1878, and took up land in the 
vicinity of Holland, where his family 
still reside. He also took up brick- 
making at Portage La Prairie in the 
early days, but died when yet in the 
prime of life, Mrs McGill following 
some years later. 

Rev. W. Lochead, a son of the 
manse, his father having long been 
minister of "North Gower. in which 
congregation, also, his brother, Rev. 
J. S. Lochead, ministered many years, 
first came to Renfrew as a student 
missionary to give relief to Rev. S. 
O. Fraser. the pioneer Free Ohurch 
minister of a wide district, vith a 
centre at White In 1860, Mr 
Lochead was called and inducted in 
the northerly half of Mr Fraser s field, 
with Renfrew as a centre. Soon after 
he married, setting up his home in 
the house now occupied by Dr Con 
nolly, but afterwards removing to a 
houie on the present site of the Bap 
tist Ohurch. For some eight or nine 
years he zealously and acceptably 
exercised his ministry in hia widely 
extended field, taking active and help 
ful interest, also, in the educational 
affairs and moral movements of the 
village, and gaining universal respect 
in the community. Then he respond 
ed to a call from Fenelon Falls, from 
ttience removing after many years to 
a charge in Western Ontario, where 
he died after the beginning of the 

*- - 

century. In his whole ministry he 
gained a good report as a quiet, earn 
est worker. After he left Renfrew, 
the village Free Ohurch congrega 
tions, with Oastleford as an out- 
station, continued for some years to 
be supplied by students in summer 
and occasional preaching in winter. 
At the Union of Presbyterian Church- 
es in 1875, the two Presbyterian 
Churches in the village were united, 
much to their advantage, and. by re 
arrangements of a like happy nature, 
the surrounding district became con 
solidated into a number of workable 
and now flourishing charges. 

Among the Horton "pioneers" 
Thomas Costello, who settled beside 
Dr. John MoNab. after he had been 
for some years foreman on Capt. 
Bell s farm at the "first Chute," had 
an honorable place, as had also his 
sons Frank and Wm. who inherited 
the old home farms. To join them 
there came from County Kerry is Ire 
land two young men who were 
nephews of Thomas Costello. John 
W. Costello arrived in the summer of 
1862 and Wm N. Costello followed in 
1865. Being fairly well educated they 
turned their attention to school teach 
ing for a time, but in 1868 they came 
to Renfrew where they purchased a 
lot from M. Fitzmaurice, built the 
store now occupied by B. Kelly and 
began the partnership business of J. 
W. and W. N. Costello There they 
carried on successfully for the next 
ten or eleven years, and became fact 
ors in the general affairs of the vil 
lage. Being somewhat ambitious, 
they closed down about 1879, at which 
time they removed to Montreal, 
hoping to score further success in a 
wholesale business which they insti 
tuted in that city. In this venture 
they did not secure the anticipated 
success. They then reopened the store 
in Renfrew, to which they added a 
jobbing business in lumbering. This 
move did not result in a satisfactory 
measure of success, so they again pul 
led up stakes, went west and did a 
trading business on the construction 



work of the C.P.R. until they reach 
ed Calgary, where they found an in 
viting opening. There .T. W. Costello 
has continued successfully ever since. 
But aftor some years W. N. Costello 
went on to Everett, a town on Puget 
Sound about 35 miles from Seattle, 
where he is said to be doing well. 

During their stay in Renfrew both 
married and had small families when 
they went west. It is interesting to 
note that the first white girl born in 
Calgary was a daughter of J. W and 
the first white bov was a son of W. 
N. These interesting events were 
duly celebrated by the inhabitants of 
the incipient city by the presentation 
of a city lot to each of the new 
comers. It may be also noted that J" 
W. s third son is a practising physician 
in Calgary, whilst his eldest son, who 
began life on another line, is now a 
final year student in Queen s Medical 
School at Kingston. 

Miss Costello. a daughter of the 
pioneer Thomas Costello. having fitted 
herself here for the teacher s profes 
sion, taught in No. 1 Admaston for 
eight years, at Mount St. Patrick for 
three years and at Springtown for 18 
vears. She also was a teacher in 
the Separate School when it first 
opened, and met her classes in the 
basemeut of the old presbytery, which 
was a wiug of the church in those 
days. She did not long remain in 
that position, as other arrangements 
were made for carrying on the work, 
in the course of a few months. That 
she was an excellent teacher is shown 
by the record above set down, and 
that she has throughout life been an 
intelligent observer of events, a 
thoughtful, true and helpful friend 
and ready always to put forth her 
hand to do a deed of kindness are 
matters well known to many. She 
has long been in poor health and, 
having retired from teaching, had 
made her home with relatives in 
Osceola, but latterly she has returned 
to Renfrew where she and her brother 
William s widow live together. She 
has a fund of reminiscences of the 

days of hardship, now long past, 
which would be well worth recording; 
also much that is very interesting 
about the thirst for education which 
prevailed in the old Kerry home which 
she is able to illustrate by letters 
carefully preserved which show that 
the "hedge schools" were able to 
turn out no mean scholars from a 
lirerary point of view. 

Thomas Hynes, who was born in 
Firzroy township, served his appren 
ticeship as a cabinet-maker with D. 
C. McMartin, then at Bristol Cor- 
ners. He afterwards spent some time 
working at his trade in the State of 
Ohio, from whence hp came to Ren 
frew in 1868, then onening a shop on 
his own account in the "Albion 
Hotel" building, but. at the end of a 
year, he removp.d to the old "Robert 
Drysdale" stand (now Handford s ) 
There he continued for two ypars. do 
ing a good business. Then he pur 
chased the site below Gordon s black 
smith shop, building a house and 
salesroom on Main street, and a fac 
tory on the rear end of the lot, in 
which he introduced machinery and 
steam power, which enabled him to 
carry on quite an extensive trade for 
years The conditions changed, how 
ever, and in 1894 he- purchased his 
present site from John O Harro, 
building there in 1805 the brick block, 
in which he and his son in partnership 
have commodious warerooms in which 
furniture from the large factories is 
temptingly displayed. To the house 
down the street, he brought Miss 
Lament, of Fitzroy. in 1872, and she 
continues to preside in their well ap 
pointed home there, her husband, 
three daughters, and William, the 
eldest son, benefiting by her loving 
care. Their son Arthur is with the 
Canadian Express Co. in Toronto, and 
George is with the Bank of Ottawa 
on relieving duty. Mr Hynes has not, 
only been a successful and reliable 
business man, but has also dovoted 
himself so earnestly to the promotion 
of the spiritual welfare of the com 
munity, that he has gained recogni- 



ti.on as a force on the side of truth 
and righteousness, thus retaining al 
ways the confidence and esteem of 
those who occasionally differ from his 

At this point mention may fiitting- 
ly be made of two or three men, who 
were not residents in the Sixtiesone 
of them never became a resident but 
who, as residents in the vicinity, had 
much to do with the life and work of 
the community and were thus poten 
tial factors i the upbuilding of the 
village, from this period and onward. 

Robert McLaren, who occupied the 
home farm on the second line in suc 
cession to his father, the pioneer 
James McLaren, began work beside 
his father when yet a lad. He made 
the best possible use, however, of one 
or two winters training which he had 
under Mr Ferguson who taught iu the 
old school on the third line. Dili 
gently perfecting himself in the 
"thrse R s," housed his spare time 
to purpose in reading on such lines as 
soon made him one of the best in 
formed young men in the community. 
He was by no means forward to assert 
himself, but lie was soon widely 
known as a prudent, well-doing man, 
whose judgment was worth having 
and whose counsel was worth follow 
ing Then, he came into public notice 
by the beginning of the sixties" 
and, from that time forward, began 
to be chosen for various positions 
which he was well fitted to fill. It 
was perhaps in 1862 that he first be 
came a factor in the life and doings 
of Renfrew, as at that date he was 
chosen Secretary-Treasurer of the 
Agricultural Society which had its 
headquarters in onr village. At that 
time it was, as it seemed, a dying in 
stitution, at least it was sorely in need 
of new blood if it were to be kept 
alive. By the choice then made con 
fidence was soon restored, as the new 
secretary threw himself vigorously 
into his work, and the moribund in 
stitution took on a new lease of life. 
In a few years more it became pos 
sible to contemplate suitable buildings 

and in 1873 a move was made in that 
direction, Mr McLaren, with a num 
ber of others, financing the project. 
Tha debt was large, however, and 
times soon became hard. Failure 
seemed imminent but he never de 
spaired and, as evervbody trusted 
him, he wrought on through the years 
till the debt was paid, enlarged 
grounds secured and further buildings 
arranged for. In 1902 he retired, was 
banquetted, was presented with a suit 
able memento and was given a place 
on the honor roll of the Society for 
life. So we counted him one of our 
selves, because he was the moving 
spirit so long in this, one of our help 
ful institutions. Nor was that his 
only interest, for he was for over 
thirty years the secretary-treasurer of 
St. Andrew s Church, in which posi 
tion he had snoh a knack of bringing 
in a report to the annual meeting 
showing a balance on the right side, 
that his colleagues in the management 
just looked on, unless some extra 
effort, sue!) as building a new manse 
or church were ou foot, when they 
turned iu and wrought with him. Of 
course he was elected to the Township 
Council, but soon he slipped into the 
position of Treasurer, which he still 
holds after ever PO many years. Sec 
retary of the S. Riding Liberal As 
sociation, also, for a generation. In 
fact we set him to work in such posi 
tions wherever we could induce him 
to accept, knowing that when he had 
been secured.the project would not lag. 
He married the youngest daughter 
of Sargeant Airth, about the middle 
sixties, and their home was one noted 
for abundant hospitality and for the 
warm welcome extended to their 
friends. The long peaceful years, 
disturbed by some afflictions, went 
by, their family were well grown up 
and thou, leaving the homestead with 
son John b., these friends of our 
community became residents in the 
"nineties." In fact Mr McLaren had 
been a property owner ever sinc the 
"sixties" and came first to live in 
one of his own houses. He built his 



present commodious and cosy home 
after, and there these active and 
helpful workers are quietly enjoying 
the fruits of their well spent earlier 
years. No man in this vicinity is 
held in higher estimation than Robert 
McLaren and he is worthy of a chief 
niche in the annals of our commun 
ity, for he is a true man, a staunch 
friend and has all along been such a 
trusty, active helper that we rejoice 
that he is yet spared and still vigor 
ous, though he has passed the eight 
ieth milestone of his well spent life. 

With brave and hopeful hearts 
Archibald Ferguson and his wife, 
Margaret Barr, left the Argyleshire 
Highlands in 1846, intent upon build 
ing up a new home in Canada. After 
the usual long voyage they at length 
settled in McNab Township, near the 
Madawaska, in the neighborhood of 
Stewartville. Scarcely two months 
had passed when the father died, 
leaving the widow with her four 
small children to shift for themselves 
in their sadly bereft home. Their 
eldest, son was James Ferguson, now 
so long known to us as a well doing 
man of sterling character and who 
this year has come to town, with the 
purpose of spending his declining 
years with us. At that time he had 
only entered on his ninth year. 
Ferguson was then six A younger 
brother was accidentally killed a couple 
of years after his father s death. 
These with the one airl, who became 
Mrs Joseph Mayhew, made up the 
family who went through the sad ex 
perience of those early years. 

After about three years, a move was 
made to Admaston. where, near Pat 
terson s Corners, the family grew up 
under such solid training and with 
such industrious habits as fitted them 
to make their mark in life. 

Turning now to follow the career of 
John Ferguson. He wrought on the 
farm, after his school life was closed, 
until he was about twenty. Then, in 
1860, he struck out into the woods, 
as most of the young men of those 
days did. He was different from the 

majority, however, in these respects : 
th^t he did not yield to the spend 
thrift temptations by which such 
young men are beset, and he early 
fell in love with the life of the wood 
man to such a degree that he misled 
no opportunity of perfecting himself 
in woodcraft. As a result of the first 
difference, he soon acquired the farm 
adjoining the old home and set up a 
home of his own, having in 61 or 62 
married Miss Bremner, who was the 
active partner of his joys* and sorrows 
till her death in 1874. On account of 
the second differenca, he speedily 
became known as a reliable, capable 
and pushing man, which report 
brought him to the notice of J. R. 
Booth, who appointed him his agent, 
aboiit 1866. a position which he held 
with much success for the next 25 or 
^(5 years It was because he held that 
position that he came into such close 
and active contact with the business 
life of Renfrew and came to be looked 
upon one as of ourselves from the 
later "sixties" onward. Not only 
that, but he became so favorably 
known in the whole upper country 
aud so helpful a friend to many a poor 
settler, that there were few who had 
not in some measure experienced 
kindness at his Iiaads. In 1874. he 
was bereft of his first wife, being 
left with his two sons, George and 
James, and two daughters, now Mrs 
Cardiff aud Mrs Scott. In 1877 he 
marrieri Miss Jessie McKenzie, who 
carefully watched over his children 
and relieved him of many fiome cares 
until her death in 1888. Before that 
time he had been drawn into the pol 
itical arena and, on the death of the 
late Robert Campbell in 1887, he was 
elected to complete the term in the 
Commons which had been begun by 
that veteran. For the thirteen suc 
ceeding years he held the seat with 
such general approval that it looked 
like a of life membership, espec 
ially as he was a moderate man who 
made all his constituents free of his 
services. But, in 1900, the fortunes 
of the Conservative party were at the 



ebb and he was one of the defeated. 
Since then, as he wisely puts it, "I 
have been not a whit a sadder but a 
much richer and more comfortable 

When his wife died in 1888, he had 
added the care of the four children 
left by her, two of whom. Mrs J. R. 
Allan and Mrs Childerhose, have now 
their own homes, whilst Misses 
Marion and Annie Belle are still in 
the old home. In 1890, he married 
Miss Margaret Redington, who still 
presides over the home life, which is 
brightened also by the presence of his 

Eventually, he cut loose from his 
engagement with Mr Booth, with 
which his parliamentary duties inter 
fered. Caring for his farm held him 
for awhile, but the well equipped 
woodman could not be content with 
only farm life. So he launched ont 
on Jiis own account, and also in con 
nection with his sou George and Mr 
McFadden, botli of whom he had 
trained, and both of whom knew that 
his experience was worth much to 
them. In all connections, he has 
scored such success as might have 
been expected from a man of his 
knowledge, prudence and probity. 
The fatherless lad of <iO years ago is 
now the wealthy, generous-hearted 
aud vigorous man, who enjoys the 
confidence and esteem of hosts of at 
tached friends. He came to live with 
us some four years ago, leaving the 
old farm iu charge of his sou James, 
whilst his son George has his resid 
ence jest beside his father. Two 
things may be said of him with con 
fidence. No well doing lad, especial 
ly if he be fatherless, will lack em 
ployment it he comes under John Fer 
guson s notice. He has a ready mind 
also for answering all appeals that 
are made for the help of educational 
or moral projects. Last of all, it may 
be said, in his own words, "He can t 
keep out of the woods, no matter how 
he tries." 

Wm. Jamieson, who settled on the 
north side of the Bonnechere, was him T 

self one of the Horton pioneers, a con 
temporary and companion of David 
Barr, John Mclnnes and others who 
were stirring lads and stalwart work 
ers in. the "forties." When he had 
quite a clearance made, he bethought 
him that "it is not good for man to 
be alone" and presently he induced 
one of Sergeant Airth s winsome 
daughters to share his fortunes aud 
bring cheer to his home. Thus, for 
over forty years, they trod life s path 
together, working earnestly, enjoying 
life in most hearty fashion when their 
sky was clear, bearing its burdens 
cheerfully in the darker days and 
hardly overgoing from home separate 
ly even for a day or a jog into town 
in the later years. At the middle of 
the sixties, they had all things snug 
and comfortable about them on the 
home farm, where several stalwart 
sons were taking up the burden of 
the work. From that time on he be 
came more or less a man of leisure, 
though many a hard day s work he 
still put iu when seeding or harvest 
ing was pressing. About that time 
also he was made a J.P. , and as he 
was known far and wide as a jovial, 
kindly man, of shrewd judgment and 
strong. common sense, most of the 
"cases" in this vicinity were brought 
before Squire Jamieson. In the vil 
lage, too, there was a lack of magis 
trates, which continued for many 
years. Th? lack was not felt, as the 
"Squire*" who in figure and mien 
was the counterpart of the typical 
J.P., was ever ready to lend his aid, 
mostly holding his court in Geo. 
Eady s office. Thus we came to think 
it strange if we did not see him every 
few days either on>such official visits 
or passing away an afternoon chatting 
with his friends^ or it might be taking 
a hand, in a game of checkers, at 
which he was an acknowledged ex 
pert. He had much interest in the 
municipal affairs of the township, 
serving in the Council both as an 
ordinary member and as Reeve on 
many occasions. Especially in the 
conflict for the County Town he was 



Renfrew s unvarying friend. That 
also drew us to him and made him a 
favorite in our midst. It was at 
length proposed that we should Imvn 
him as our Police Magistrate, which 
might have brought him to live in 
our midst. That was in the eighties, 
when his sons were all married and 
settled and he could easily have ro 
tired. There is little doubt that this 
proposal would have been carried out 
had he not been stricken with par 
alysis. He rallied at the first and 
was even able to make occasional 
visits. Then he began to fail and 
kept gradually failing for years until 
life became a great weariness to him 
and wore out good Mrs Jamiesnn, 
whose long care of him ended before 
he went to his rest, about the >nd of 
the "eighties " He was one ff thi 
"old guard" of St. Andrew s Church, 
in which he was a devout and con 
stant attendant at meetings, Chair- 
man of the Board, and almost always 
chosen to preside at social and other 
meetings. The Sons of Temperance 
knew him well a* one of their 
"lifey" members, as indeed he was 
the life of any gathering at which 
he was present. His sons Harry, 
(Red Deer, Alta. ) R. A., of Horton, 
and David in the United States are 
still living. His daughters and his 
sons James, William aud John A , 
the latter having succeeded him on 
the farm, are all go-je. Some of his 
grandsons are with us and are among 
our pushing, well-doing young busi 
ness men. 

The Doctors of the former period 
Carswell and Evans continued in 
practice well on into this period, botli 
finishing their work, however, before 
its close. As was to be expected 
others came in from time to time and 
to their doings we now give some 

It was likely in 1859, that Dr. Smith 
came as a newly graduated medical 
man to try the fates in Renfrew. 
They were so far propitious that he 
won the heart and hand of Miss 
Turney, of Richmond, Ont. , a young 

er sister of Mrs Dr. Evans. Soon 
after, orobably towards the end of 
18 H), they removed to Bristol. There 
Mrs Smith died very parly in life. 
The Dr. himself continued in success 
ful practice in Bristol for a few years, 
but did not live very long. 

Dr. Cranston seems t<> have followed 
Dr Smith in testing the prospects in 
Renfrew, to which he came as a then 
recent graduate of Queen s about 
1860. He married Miss Hilleto, a 
friend and companion of Mrs Dr. 
Evans; the home aud office in which 
they dwelt being that rough cast 
house on Dr Evans property, south 
of the Creek, in which sn many of 
our notables began life in our midst. 
In a short time a more eligible opening 
presented itself in Aruprior. to which 
village Dr. Cranston removed in the 
early "sixties." There he built up 
an extensive p-aitice and lias gained 
recognition as ouo of the men of 
solid attainments among the profes 
sion, having been for long a promin 
ent member of the Ontario Medical 
Council, as well as serving a term as 
President of the Medical Association 
of the Province. He is still i.n prac 
tice, though his son now relieves him 
of the heavier work. 

Dr. Hughes, had perhaps that title 
only by courtesy, but he had a drug 
store and was consulted as a physi 
cian, for a year or two in the early 
"sixties." Then he went elsewhere, 
but there are no data which give even 
an inkling of his after history. 

Dr. Code was one of the incomers 
of the early "sixties," bnt he only 
leuiained in Renfrew for a short 
time. Afterwards he changed his 
profession and "took orders" in the 
Episcopal Church. 

Dr. Blackwood was another tran 
sient, but his name only is remember 

Dr. Beattie came to us about 1803. 
He is remembered as a clever medical 
man who built up a considerable 
practice; a man of kindly disposition 
also, who was popular amongst the 
citizens and welcomed as an addition 



to the social circles of that day. Hia 
office was for some time in rooms at 
Mrs McAdam s Hotel, nearly opposite 
Opeougo street. When he married, he 
rented from R C. Mills a house which 
stood just north of the present Stewart 
Bros, block. After about five years, 
ha saw au Queuing at Richmond, Out., 
which so attracted him that lie re 
moved to that village and there con- 
tinned for many years. 

Dr. Thos. Freer, a native of Doug 
las, Isle of Man. came to Renfrew 
about 1864, his brother, Ben Freer, 
being at; that time Head Master of 
the Renfrew Schools. Their father 
had been a British naval officer; they 
were both well educated, had good 
ability and were of such agreeable 
manner that they were especially well 
received. The Doctor, having speedily 
secured ; good practice, after a year or 
two married the eldest daughter of Rev. 
George Thomson. His residence and 
office were iu the building just north 
of the Creek on the east side of Main 
street. It was for a few years a hap 
py, much frequented home and then 
the shadow of sudden bereavement 
came, bringing to it lasting sorrow. 
In March 1870, Dr. Freer was on a 
trip to Spriugtown, when, iu the 
darkness, au attaok of heart disease 
developed. He got from his cutter, 
wrapped himself iu the buffaloes, used 
what moans he could, but the end 
came and he was found lifeless by 
the roadside witli his faithful horse 
still standing by. Very sincerely was 
he mourned by a large number of at 
tached friends. Much sympathy, also, 
had his young widow, stricken with 
r such sudden sorrow, and left with 
the care of their three young child 
ren. Sympathy, joined to respectful 
admiration, continued as the year* 
went by and she bravely struggled 
on, nurturing, training and educating 
the children, until her mother heart 
was glad as they were all fitted for 
honored positions in life, and all held 
in high regard among their com 
panions. Then, she had time to look 
around, but it took her no long time 

to find her place as one of those who 
are always ready to help the suffering 
and comfort the sorrowing. Thus she 
became a greatly beloved friend in 
many homes in the community, shar 
ing both in their joys and sorrows. 
So she remained with us until her 
elder daughter and home companiou 
was called away. Since then, she has 
made her home with her younger 
daughter Mrs Ferguson, at first, in 
Pembroke, but; latterly in Massey. Her 
son George is not far away from her, 
being at Sudbury. So in quiet com 
fort her later years are restful, at 
which her friends rejoice, though of 
ten and often there are those whe 
think and say : Would that she were 
nearer that we might see her often, as 
we used to do." 

Dr. Lynn, whose father was a prc- 
minent figure in the Eganville dif. 
trict in the pioneer days, settled in 
Renfrew somewhat later than Di . 
Freer, but they were contemporaries 
and friends for several years, and it 
was Dr. Lynn who hurried to bring 
possible help on that sad morning 
when Dr. Freer died. Dr. Lvnn and 
his amiable and cultured wife were 
great favorites with all classes in the 
community. The Dr. was a skilful 
practitioner, who for years had a 
large practice but, when an exception 
al opportunity was presented of tak 
ing up professional work in Ottawa, 
IIP could not in justice to himself 
refuse. So, much to the rpgret of 
many in this neighborhood, he went 
from us. He did not enjoy his new 
position very many years, being cut 
off when yet comparatively M young 

Dr. Moore, who hailed from King 
ston and whose young wife was a 
sister of Alex. Gunu, one of King 
ston s best known citizens, was with 
us for a couple or three years from 
about 1868, but he was not successful 
iu building such a practice a* lie de 
sired and sought another field for his 

About 1868, there were five practis 
ing physicians in Renfrew, as many 



as there are at present, but the normal 
number was about two, or at most 
three. They still continued to endure 
much hardship, as they had practical 
ly the whole upper country to attend 
to when serious cases developed. 
Long drives, scanty fees and loiig 
credit were their portion ; so few of 
them made more than a living but 
more than one of them had many 
benedictions frorii the poor settlers 
for whose help in sickness they un 
selfishly exercised their skill. 

In the narrative of the former 
periods, it was told that no sufficient 
data were then available as to the 
Methodist ministers who either visit 
ed Renfrew occasionally or had the 
village as part of their circuit in the 
early days. An attempt has been 
made to remedy < the otrission then 
forced on the narrator, but he is bound 
to admit that he has not even yet 
been very fcuccessful in this connec 
tion. As there is not much hope of 
bettering the position, it seems well 
to take in at this point the scanty 
information that has been gleaned. 

The first minister of the Methodist 
church whose name, even, is avail 
able, was sent to Renfrew by the 
Wesleyan Conference to open here a 
new circuit Rev. Thos. Hannah, 
who was with us in 1851. There is 
no real account to be had of him and 
his doings, but it is supposed that lie 
found little opening for his work, as 
there were few Methodist families in 
the neighborhood and the few there 
were, to the north of the Bonnechero, 
were more inclined to adhere to the 
Episcopal Methodists, whose circuit 
riders visited them occasionally. Ac 
cordingly the Wesleyans seem ro have 
withdrawn for a while, though one 
cannot be too sure of that Therefore 
we take up the names that have been 
rescued,, without regard to their 
affiliation with the Episcopals or the 

The next name that has been re 
covered is that of Rev. Mr Pomoroy, 
who was here in the earlier "fifties" 
and remained at least two years. He 

was known as what rnauy called "a 
great preacher" in those days, well 
able to wake the echoes in even the 
quietest meeting, and entering with 
zest into the greater excitement of the 
revival or camp meeting, where his 
exhortations were h^art stirring and 
his denunciations .made sinners trem 
ble. He had in fact the gifts of the 
old time revivalist and used them 
with effect. A friend, who knew 
him and sometimes accompanied him, 
remembers, for instance, with what 
effect he expounded Ezekiel s vision 
of the "valley of dry bones,", with 
special application to the peoplo of 
Horton. "for lo, they were very dry." 
It seems to have beeu through his 
exertions that the first Methodist 
church was built on the corner of 
Hall and Church streets, the site be 
ing granted by the late Xavier Flaunt. 
He also- built a rattier odd looking 
house for the use of himself and wife, 
for he was a married man, though ho 
had no children when in Renfrew. la 
later days, he seems to have gone out 
to the North West and is reported to 
have died there about four years ago, 
whin over eighty years of age. 

It is likely that Rev. Mr Sparrow 
succeeded Mr Pomeroy about the mid 
dle of the fifties. He was a man of 
massive build, warm-hearted aud of 
good ability uot so rousing, perhaps, 
as a preacher wiieu contrasted with 
Mr Pomeroy, but a clever and effective 
exponent of the Tuth. More espec 
ially, he endeared himself to the pen- 
pie as a visitor in their homes and by 
his kindly interest in the .sick. HP 
was a married man, but it is thought 
he had no family when here. It is 
thought, also, that he remained ouly 
one year, but possibly it may have 
beeu two. No trace of his after work 
has been available. 

Towards the close of the "fifties" 
Rev. Jas. Masson, who was of Scotch 
descent, took up the work, with Ren 
frew as a central station in his cir 
cuit. It is reasonably sure that he 
was a Wesleyan, as he held services 
in the Town Hall. Being a married 



man, though without children, he 
lived in half of Joshua Murphy s 
house. He was largely supported by 
the funds of the Missionary Society, 
though Mr Murphy recollects that on 
one occasion he collected over thirty 
dollars for Mr Massrm, which dona 
tion was cheerfully participated in by 
other than the Methodists, who were 
still very few in the village. Mr 
Masson was well liked as a man and 
was accounted a good preacher, 
whose views were sound and whose 
expositions were helpful. He built 
up the cause so well that ever after 
his day the services were continuous 
and the congregation showed increas 
ing vitalit} . He had with him on 
his circuit a probationer named Thos. 
Feather, who went on to a place in 
the regular ministry. After leaving 
here, Mr Massou continued his min 
istry for many years In fact his 
death was reported only about six 
years af/o. 

Rev. Alex. Drennan was the mini 
ster of. the Renfrew Circuit in I860- 
(U. He was of U. E. Loyalist and 
Presbyterian stock, being born in St. 
Eustache, Que., in 1821. His father 
died wiien he was eleven years of 
age His mother, with a family of 
13 children, then removed to Mont 
real, where Alex, became a compan 
ion, after a time, of Goo. Douglas, 
afterwards Dr. Douglas. Having been 
both brought under the power of the 
gospel, they together gave themselves 
to the Methodist ministry, were or 
dained in 18o5 ind continued to be 
close friends for life. Dr. Drennan 
was a man of beautiful character, an 
acceptable preacher and had an 
honored ministry here and elsewhere. 
He preached whilst here in the Town 
Hall and lived for some time in the 
rough cast house on Dr. Evans pro 

Rev. Silas Huntingdon ministered 
in Renfrew circuit in 1863-64, holding 
services in the Town Hall, with Mr 
S. Walford as leader of the choir. 
He was at that time a young married 
man, with a family of three children. 

His home was in the same rough-cast 
house that had been occupied by Mr 
Dreunan. He was quite a popular 
preacher, though as he used to say 
in respect to his preparation: "When 
I commence, it will come to me as I 
am going on." His powerful voice 
and fervent manner, however, made 
his appearances very acceptable. He 
was a pushing man who did not spare 
himself, and through his after mini 
stry became notable as an opener of 
new circuits and as a church and 
parsonage builder, his enthusiasm 
being so contagious that he was 
famous for carrying such enterprises 
through. He must be an old ma a 
now, if he be still alive, but our lat 
est knowledge of him is that in the 
early years of this century he was 
still working enthusiastically in New 

Rev. Wm. Creighton was twice in 
charge of the Renfrew circuit in 
1864-65 and again in 1869. In his day 
the services began to be held in the 
log school house, which was at first 
accorded at an annual rent but was 
later rent free. Some improvement 
was made in the way of providing 
additional seating, and the services 
continued there for a few years. 
Eventually, however, the requirements 
of extra school accommodation led to 
the removal of the congregation to 
the Temperance Hall. Mr Creighton 
was a quieter preacher than his pre 
decessor, but commended himself 
greatly by his earnestness. Mrs 
Creighton was a tower of strength to 
him in his work, being a specially 
estimable and attractive lady, whose 
friendship was valued by very many 
in the community. They, with their 
three children, dwelt in the house 
opposite tha McDougall residence that 
was Lawrence O Reilly s hotel in the 
earlier days. After leaving here, Mr 
Creightou went to Almonte, to which 
town he returned in later years when 
affliction came into his life. There a 
son and daughter died. His wife fol 
lowed soon after and it was no long 
time until he too passed away. His 



other daughter, who is married, is 
said to be now residing in Toronto. 
It is recorded of Mr Oreightou that he 
was one of those who followed the 
good old fashioned custom of calling 
on absentees. families and young 
men, on Monday to enquire where 
they were on Sunday. 

Rev. Thos. A. Walker served a 
three year term 1866-67-68. He was 
an able and attractive preacher, a fine 
singer and in every respect most ac 
ceptable to the congregation, as well 
as a favorite in, the community. Thus 
he built up the congregation to such 
an extent that tliey were encouraged 
to prepare for providing themselves 
with more permanent and suitable 
appliances for their work. Accord 
ingly, the property of the late Wm. 
Watt, which was then in the market, 
was purchased from Mr Morris of 
Perth. The old Watt dwelling house 
came into use for some years as the 
parsonage and it -till stands on a 
small corner of the property on 
Argyle stree . to which ir, wa< re 
mover! wheu the new parsonage WHS 
built. Mr Walker, whilst here, was 
married to a Miss Baylis. of Befich- 
burg. She did not live very long but 
left behind her a daux iter who grew 
up and became a teacher He mar 
ried the second time but that was 
after he had gone from Renfrew. 
After some years his throat gave out, 
which caused him to cease preaching 
an I likely to take up some line 
of lifH work. 

Rev. Wm. Raney was not in this 
period, hut as the contemplated im 
provements which were prepared for 
in Mr Walker s and Mr Creighton s 
time, were carried through in 1870-71, 
it seems well to speak of him here and 
thus to bring the narrative down to a 
distinct point in the history of the 
congregation. Mr Raney was an able 
preacher and a diligent and accept 
able worker. He came as an unmar 
ried man but immediately afterwards 
he brought Miss Martin of Brockville 
to be the presiding genius in the par 
sonage, and one of their children was 

born here. During 1870, every pre 
paration was made for the building of 
a church, work on which was begun 
in the summer of 1871. The building, 
which still stands, was not only quite 
substantial and comfortable, but real 
ly the most stylish church edifice in 
the village when it was opened. 
About Christmas 1871, everything was 
in readiness. The widely known Dr. 
Liachlin Taylor preached on Sabbath 
morning and evening and delivered 
one of his celebrated lectures on 
Monday evening. The young Presbj 7 - 
terian minister, (the present chronic 
ler) took charge of the afternoon 
service There was rejoicing, feast 
ing, goodfellowship and congratula 
tions on all hands There was a little 
debt, also, but the congregation were 
in good spirits, as well they might 
be. Mr Raney, who had not the 
ohjir^h building aptitude to any great 
extent, wondered how he had carried it 
through and, in cheerful thankfulues.*., 
let his light shine more brightly thnu 
ever fr-im the new pulpit. Since then, 
the congregation has been a distinctly 
Consolidated force, making for uplift 
in the community. 

Mr Raney s after ministry which 
was largely in the Montreal Confer 
ence was honored and gave testimony 
to his solid worth 

Just before the close of the "fifties" 
period, as has already been uoted, 
that well beloved . pastor. Father 
Byrne, left Renfrew to take duty in 
the parish of Brudenell, Father L. 
Almeras, a native of France, was 
soon after appointed to the parish of 
Renfrew, remaining in charge till 
March 1862, when he went to Cuba. 
Although but a short time in charge, 
he interested himself in the educa r 
tional work of the village and the 
surrounding townships, acting for a 
time as a local superintendent, and 
gaining a good place in the esteem 
of the community. 

For a short time before the close 
of Father Almeras incumbency he 
was assisted by Father Fremont, who 
continued in charge of the parish 



from March to September. Then, 
much to the satisfaction of the par 
ishioners and of the community, 
Father Bouvier, a former pastor, was 
appointed. He speedily fitted into 
his old place in the work of the 
parish and resumed his old friendly 
relations with the Rev. Geo. Thomp 
son and others, with whom he had 
wrought so cordially in former days. 
For nearly four years he carried on 
the work which, however, was be 
coming more and more burdensome 
and he finally broke his connection 
with Rpnfrew in February, 1866. and 
returned to the parish of Arnprior, 
where he continued for some time. 
Later, he was appointed to the parish 
of Osceola, where he labored abund 
antly until his death on January 1st, 

For some time before Father Buu- 
vier retired, he had as his curate Rev. 
P. Roagier, a native of France, and a 
gentleman of scholarly attainments, 
of good executive ability and refined 
manners. Father Rougier then be 
came parish priest of Renfrew, a posi 
tion which he held until his death in 
1893. When he entered on the parish 
in 186*i, it still included Mt. St. Pat 
rick and Griffith within its bounds, 
but in 1867 his work was greatly 
lightened by the erection of a new 
parish in these out-stations, under 
the charge of Father John McCornr ick. 

Being thus relieved, Father Rougier 
applied himself with such zealous 
assiduity to the strengthening of the 
Renfrew parish that, ia 1872, he had 
led his people to join enthusiastically 
in building the large stone church of 
St. Francis Xavier, which continues 
yet in use, though of course it has 
been greatly improved during the 
passing years. The old church he 
appropriated to the use of the Separ 
ate School, which he founded soon 
after. This, however, was not for 
long the home of the school for, in 
the course of a few years, he had a 
new school built which is the one at 
present in use, but which was soon 
committed to the charge of the Christ 
ian Brothers and so had rooms which 
were appropriated to their use as a 
residence He also set up the Con 
vent on the east side of the village, 
in which the nuns have charge of a 
girls school. These changes he car 
ried out with consummate ability. 
He thus left behind him a good re- 
coid as an earnest worker and a de 
voted pastor, one who did his duty well 
and in such wise as greatly benefited 
the parish. Withal, he gained the re 
spect and esteem of a large number of 
friends in the community outside of 
his own flock, who valued the friend 
ship of the man of beautiful life and 
character who was so long one of the 
spiritual forces in the community. 




When in 1902 the Story of Renfrew, 
as written by the editor of The Mer 
cury, came to a stop through the pres 
sure of other duties, the Board of 
Education was being dealt with : and 
its doings had been brought up to the 
end of 1869. 

When Dr. Campbell commenced his 
contribution to The Story, he mingled 
with it much regarding the personal 
ity of the early settlers and the re 
maining pioneers, which no person 
else could have so well done : for he 
had heard much of the story from 
their own lips, had heard it with a 
deep personal sympathy, aud he told 
it with the skill of the trained mind. 
In taking up the Story again, the pie- 
sent writer cannot hope to invest it 
with the same deep personal interest. 
What the active people did, more 
than the personality of the doers, will 
now perforce be the current of the 

Sinon O Gorman was re-elected as 
a Common School trustee for 1870, 
and Alex. Jamieson retiring, Duncan 
Mclntyre was elected in his stead. 
At this ratepayers meeting, a reso 
lution by Jas. Barney and Henry 
Goulette was carried unanimously, 
expressing approval of the free school 
system which had then been on trial 
for one year, and praying that the 
trustees continue for the coming year 
to bear all the cost of the schools 
from the tax rate, instead of by the 
old 83 T stem of part from the rates and 
part by fees. Messrs John Burns and 
J. L. McDongall were re-elected to the 
Grammar ScHool Board. Mr William 
Halpenny was re-elected chairman of 
the united Board,"but declined, and 
nominate^ Mr John Smith, who was 
thereupon elected. The year passed 
. i >, 

tranquilly, and at the end of it Messrs 
J W. O Connor and Donald Stewart 
and Miss Ruth Wright were re-en 
gaged as the teaching staff for 1871. 
Miss Wright did not accept the ap 
pointment, and Miss E. Webster was 
chosen in her stead at a salary of $140 
per year. Then Mr O Connor resign 
ed and was released on guaranteeing 
that a properly qualified substitute 
should be in his place on Jan. 9, 1871, 
at a salary of not more than $600 a 

At the nomination meeting on Jan. 
11, 1871, John Mills replaced James 
Bromley as a Common School trustee 
while Peter Dougall and Joseph Gra- 
velle took their places as new Gram 
mar School trustees. John Smith was 
re-elected chairman and John Burns 
secretary. For lighting fires for a 
month $1.75 was paid, and the school 
wood was bought at 7s. 6d. per cord 
of dry pine, 8s. 9d. for dry hemlock, 
and 11s. 3d. for hardwood". An agree 
ment was signed with Robert George 
Scott as headmaster of the Renfrew 
schools. J. D. McDonald was re-ap 
pointed local superintendent ; and an 
order was passed paying Rev P. 
Rougier iJOs. for his services as 
superintendent in 1869, and the 
same amount to Mr McDonald 
for his services in 1870. On the 16th 
Sept., Duncan F. Stewart was elected 
a Common School trustee in place of 
John Mills, who had resigned. At the 
meeting on Oct. 27th it was decided 
to purchase a site for a new school 
building, and two lots on Argyle 
street and three lots on Lochiel 
street "being in the same lot as the 
English church" as the Minutes say, 
were purchased from J. L. McDougall 
for $600, to be allowed him in pay 
ment of his taxes till the whole sum 
was paid, bearing interest at 7 per 



cent : and chairman Smith and Mr 
McDougall were authorized to visit 
the schools at Arnprior and Carleton 
Place, for the purpose of determining 
the manner in which the new school 
should be built. At the same meeting 
it was decided to offer re-engagement 
to Messrs Scott and Stewart at $000 
and $340: and also to ask Miss Wright 
to engage again at from $130 to $160 ; 
Miss Webster being notified that she 
would not be re-engaged. The Wes- 
leyan Methodist body were also noti 
fied that after Marih 28, 1882, the 
Board would need the old school 
house in which they had bean wor 
shipping. Mr Scott declined to re- 
ongage. Mr Stewart asked for an in 
crease to $360. This request was 
granted. In response to advertisement 
in the Globe and The Mercury (which 
had been established during the year) 
there were two applicants for the 
Grammar School mastership Alex. 
Carlyle and T. A. Bryce. The 
latter was chosen. Miss Costello was 
selected as female teacher. 

At the nominations for 1872, Geo. 
W. McDonald and Albert Smallfield 
were chosen trustees in place of 
Robert Drysd^le and John Churchill, 
the retiring members. Mr Bryce had 
proved incapable of managing the 
school and on Feb. 7th he was notified 
that he would not be needed after 
that month. At this meeting, too. Mr 
Geo. Eady, Jr., was appointed secre 
tary-treasurer, on motion of Mr John 
Burns, who had held the office for 
some eight years. Mr Peter Dougall 
was elected chairman ; and G. W. 
McDonald, John Burns, Duncan Mc- 
Intyre, William Halpenny and Mr 
Dougall were chosen as a committee 
to take the initiatory steps for build 
ing a new school house during the 
year. Mr () Gorman having resigned 
as trustee, Mr John Smith (tanner) 
was again elected to the Board in his 
stead ; and Tames Ward was re -ap 
pointed High School trustee in place 
of Joseph Gravelle, resigned. These 
resignations were in view of the 
Roman Catholics of the town having 

formed a Roman Catholic Separate 
School in the village, their first trus 
tees being Felix Devine, (merchant) 
James Cairney, (shoemaker) and 
Moses Hudon (saddlor). Mr Bryce 
did not take kindly to the proposi 
tion that his services should be dis 
pensed with. There were several 
meetings of the Board on the matter, 
and it was not until the 2nd of March, 
when notified by a report from Rev. 
Mr Jenkins, the County Inspector, of 
the demoralization of the school, that 
the actual resolution of dismissal was 
passed, and on motion of Messrs Smith 
and Smallfield, Rv. Robert Campbell 
was asked to take charge of the school 
until the 20th of April or such time 
in April as Mr A. P. Knight might 
be able to become the headmaster. 
The County Clerk in Lanark not be- 
in& able to find any record of the 
formation of Grammar Schools in 
Renfrew, Pembroke or Aruprior, it 
was decided to ask for a special meet 
ing of Renfrew County Council to de 
fine the limits of the High School 
District of Renfrew High School. 

On Maxell 22ud a meeting of the 
ratepayers was held to consider the 
proposition of building a new school 
house. On motion of A. A. Wright 
and Robert McLaren, the Board was 
authorized to complete the purchase 
of tho site; and on motion of William 
Ferguson and William Airth the 
estimate submitted was approved of. 
It called for $366 66 for laud and 
fencing ; $1,723 for building ; $183 33 
for seats and desks ; $43 for teacher s 
desk and platform; $78.33 for heating 
apparatus and $106.66 for woodshed, 
etc., a total of $2,500.98. And on 
motion of J. H. Walford and Peter 
Dougall the Board was authorized to 
get the funds and build the school. 

At a Board meeting in July. Edward 
G. Phillips, of Stafford was engaged 
as assistant in the High School at $135 
to the end of the year. 

For 1873, the teachers chosen were 
Andrew Agnew, Vankleek Hill, prin 
cipal of High School at $700 a year ; 
(Mr P. C. McGregor, who had such a 



long and successful career in Almonte, 
being second choice if Mr Agnew had 
not accepted); James M. Glenn, assis 
tant at $450 : Miss Sarah Mills assis 
tant in the Public school at $260. Mr 
Donald Stewart had resigned his posi 
tion as principal of the Common 
School; and the board had great diffi 
culty in filling his place. Before this 
was accomplished, Messrs Alex. Fer 
guson and James Reynolds were 
elected as Common School trustees 
Then the work of getting a principal 
for the Public School continued- 
Jrts. S. Scott ami Charles Harwood 
were engaged successively; but 
neither came and neither sent word 
that he was not coming. Then on 
Feb. 5th, Peter Campbell, of Stanley, 
was engaged at $400, and he came 
along in due course. Apparently the 
idea of the new school had languish 
ed in 1872, and at this February 
meeting of 1873, Peter Dougall, Alex. 
Fcrgnsou, J. D. McDonald, Albert 
Smallfield ami G. W. McDonald were 
chosen as a committee to press on 
the work. The County inspector 
wished another assistant teacher pro 
vided. The Board endeavored to get 
tho High Schnol teachers to take part 
of the excess pupils, hut failed. At 
the end of rhe year Messrs Aguew 
and Glenn were notified that they 
would not be required in 1874. Mr 
Campbell said he would not re-eu- 
gage. Miss Mills was re-enaaged r.t 
$360: and the rest of the staff adver 
tised for. The new teachers chosen 
were William Donald, headmaster for 
the Higli School at $700; James 
Cuthbert for tho Public School at 

In 1874, John McAndrew and Wm. 
Airth were elected trustees for the 
Public School. James Ward was 
chosen chairman. Again a year had 
gone by and the new school building 
was still all on paper. But the pro 
ject was kept alive by the appoint 
ment of James Ward, Alex. Ferguson. 
Albert Smallfield, Wm. Airtli and G. 
W. McDonald as a building commit- 
tee. In July, the Deputy Superinten 

dent of Education for Ontario wrote 
that if immediate steps were not taken 
to provide better High School accom 
modation the half-yearly grant would 
be retained. At this the committee 
reported in favor of a brick school, 
instead of stone, with stone base and 
stone door and window sills; and 
this report was adopted. The Board 
thereupon made demand on the Vil 
lage Council for $5,000 for the erec 
tion of the school, and added Mr 
Alex. Ferguson to the building com 
mittee. Mr John McAndrew having 
resigned his position as trustee, Mr 
James Stewart was elected in his 
stead. At the first meeting there 
after, on the 12th of August, 1872, 
seven tenders were received for the 
construction of the new school build 
ing. The highest tender was $5,500; 
the lowest $4,700. On motion of 
Albert Smalifield and James Stewart 
the contract was awarded to William 
Willoughby, of Almonte, for $5,252, 
the argument in his favor being that 
he had built the school houses at 
Smith s Falls, Carleton Place and 
Almonte, and could furnish sufficient 
security. The building was to be 
completed before May 1, 1875. At a 
subsequent meeting it was decided 
that th* expense of the building 
should be divided equally between 
the Public and High School. 

For 1875, W. J. Gibson, of Arn- 
prior, was chosen as headmaster of 
the High School at $700; D. H. Carey, 
of Cobden, headmaster of the Public 
School at $550; Miss Sarah Mills as 
assistant at $260 ; Mrs Bellerby as sec 
ond assistant (in August) at $200. G. 
W. McDonald and Alex. Jamieson were 
elected Public School trustees. The 
other public school trustees were 
Alex. Ferguson, Jaa Reynolds, James 
Stewart and William Airth. The 
High School trustees were James 
Ward. Geo. Eady, Jr., A. A. Wright, 
Albert Smallfield and Peter Dougall. 
Mr Wright was chosen chairman. 
For furnishing the plans and specifi 
cations of the new school building, 
and superintending its construction, 



Mr Peter Dougall was voted the sum 
of $75. At the September meeting 
a motion was passed intimating to 
the teachers that they must be punc 
tual and not take more holidays than 
allowed by law. 

i^ or 1876, the staff of teachers was 
W. .T. Gibson at $800; D. H. Carey at 
$600: Miss Elizabeth Ruttle at $260; 
Mrs Bellerby at $200; Miss Mary J. 
McLean at $168. The department 
having threatened to withhold the 
grant unless an assistant was pro 
vided for the High School, Miss Mar 
garet M. Diugraan, of Sorubra, was 
engaged for that post at $400. Jas 
Reynolds and Alex. Ferguson were 
re-elected trustees. Mr Wright was 
re-elected chairman, and Mr Eady 
secretary-treasurer ; and these two 
along with Mr Smallfield were chosen 
as the first Managing Committee to 
purchase furniture and apparatus and 
look after the "management and good 
maintenance of the school during 
the year " The minutes also record 
Hint considerable discussion took 
place in regard to the necessity of 
having High School districts formed 
in the county, and of the "unfairness 
of compelling the local municipalities 
to build and maintain High School 
buildings and pay t -achers while the 
surrounding municipalities are allow 
ed to send their children without 
paying anything towards the High 
Schools," and the Managing Com 
mittee along with Messrs Ward and 
Stewart ware appoined to draft a pe 
tition to the Ontario Legislature on 
the subject 

In 1877, Jas. Stewart anr( Wm. Airth 
were re-elected as Public School trus 
tees, and Jas. Ward and Peter Dougall 
re-appointed Higli School trustees. 
Mr Wright was re-elected chairman 
and Mr Eady secretary-treasurer. W. 
J. Gibson, Miss Dingman, Hugh 
Carey and Mrs Bellerby were re 
engaged ; while Misses Jennie Mul- 
vaugh, of Toledo, and Jennie Wat 
son, of Renfrew, were added to 
the staff at $260 and $168 respectively. 
Again at the inaugural meeting the 

habits of punctuality or the lack of 
it of the teachers were discussed, 
and a resolution passed insisting that 
they must be punctual, and must 
take Mr Addison s time for their 

The school population, too, had 
continued to grow, and in July of 
this year, on motion of Messrs Ward 
and Jauiiesou, a demand was mada 
on the County Council to build a 
High School in the village of Ren 
frew: and the Board commenced 
to look for accommodation for the 
junior pupils. In July, also, Mr 
Carey asked to be released as he 
wished to attend a University: and 
Mr Henry Beer was engaged in his 
place. Th? old Grammar School on 
Flaunt street, was fitted up for the 
junior department : Mrs Bellerby to 
take charge of it. In September the On 
tario Government announced its policy 
of founding the model schools, for the 
training of teachers: and on the 13th 
of October it was announced that one 
of these model schools would be 
located in Renfrew. The Board pro 
ceeded thereupon to find some other 
place for the High School, as the de 
partment it used was needed for the 
new departure. Mr Beer was allowed 
an extra $25 for his services in the 
model term. 

For 1878, James Allin and A. 
J. Mclutyre were elected Public 
School trustees in place of G. W. 
McDonald and Alex. Jamieson. Dr 
O Brien became a High School trus 
tee ; Mr A. A Wright was also 
elected chairman, and Mr Eady sec 
retary-treasurer. The teaching staff 
engaged was W. J. Gibson and Hugh 
Carey for the High School ; Sandfield 
Davidson, of St. George, as head 
master of the Public School ; Miss 
Hattie Reynolds, of Forester s Falls, 
as first assistant As the year closed, 
.the Board advertised for teachers for 
all departments. There were seven- 
teen applications for the headmaster- 
ship of the High School at from $700 
to $1,200. The first choice was Mr 
A. Devitt, of Waterloo; and failing 



satisfactory arrangements with him, 
Mr Charles McDowell, of Orange- 
ville, was to be engaged at $700. Mr 
McDowell was finally engaged, and 
in 1879 commenced one of the re 
cord careers as a High School teach 
er in Ontario. Hugh Carey was 
chosen out of 30 applicants as as 
sistant, at $450. R. N. Curry, of 
Durham, was chosen principal of the 
Model School, out of 13 applicants, at 
$600. Out of another 13 applicants. 
Geo. W. Campbell was chosen first 
assistant at $450, bnt declining the 
place, David If. Lent, of Brighton, 
was engaged at f450. Miss Hattie A. 
Reynolds, at $350, and Miss Maggie 
Bnrcon at $170 completed the staff. 
The High School at this period was 
held in what was known as the old 
Polish church on Bonnechere street, 
the Board having had to get extra 
quarters during the Model School 

In 1879. Alex. Jam eson and James 
Reynolds were re-elected public 
school trustees; and Albert Smallfield 
who had given place to Dr. O Brien 
in 1878 again became a High School 
trustee. A. A. Wright and Geo. Eady 
were re-elected chairman and secre 
tary. ThB Board on two occasions 
passed resolutions of thanks to Mr 
Curry for his lucid reports on school 
affairs. All the teachers were offered 
re-engagement for 1880. 

In 1880, .Tas. Stewart and Wm. 
Airth were re-elected as Public School 
trustees and Noble Dean and Dr. 
O Brien appointed High School trus 
tees. At the first meeting of this 
year, one hour and a quarter was 
granted as the noon recess. On the 
14th of Feb , Messrs Wright, Eady 
and Dr. O Brien were chosen as a 
committee to take steps towards the 
building of a High School. In March, 
Mr Curry resigned his position as 
head-master of the Public School, and 
Mr Lent was advanced to the prin- 
cipalship and Miss Ida Smith added 
to the teaching staff. Mr James Allan 
was added to the Hig i School build 
ing committee. Negotiations were 

opened with J. L. MoDougall for the 
purchase of four lots near the old 
burying ground (the McDougall pri 
vate graveyard being where the Separ 
ate School now is); and a demand 
was made on the village Council to 
raise $2,500 for the site and new 
building. At the meeting in May, 
Mr Martin L. Russell s offer to sell 19 
lots containing 3 1-16 acres, in rear of 
the McDougall burying ground, for 
$500, was accepted ; and the present 
site of the Collegiate Institute thus 
secured. Messrs McDougall and Rey 
nolds were appointed to get plans and 
specifications for the new building : 
the size not to exceed 35x60. Duncan 
McNicol was the architect selected, 
and received $15 for the plans and 
specifications. Mr Lent having only 
a second-class certificate was not able 
to remain as Model School principal, 
and for the model term gave place to 
Mr E. A Stevens, of Delta, who re 
ceived $240 for the that portion of the 
year. The lowest tender for the new 
High School building was $2,700. The 
Board had not calculated on so much. 
So the plans were cut, and Mr Thomas 
Henderson finally awarded the con 
tract at $2.350. Mr Reynolds was ap 
pointed overseer at $30. Messrs 
Wright, Eady, Stewart, Allan and 
Ward agree;! to sign notes to raise 
the money to build the school. At 
the September meeting Mr Wright 
announced that he would give a sil 
ver medal each year to the pupil tak 
ing the highest marks at the Inter 
mediate examination ; if the Board 
would announce it to the teachers of 
the county. The Board accepted the 
offer. Messrs John Munro, Alex. 
Ferguson, Duncan McNicol and 
Thomas Henderson w?re appointed 
valuators to fix the price that should 
be paid to the High School Board by 
the Public School for that portion of 
the Argyle street school which had 
been occupied as High School. They 
fixed the value of the school at $4,822; 
and the Public School paid half that 
amount towards the building of the 
new High Scheol. 



For 1881, Elkanah Mayhew and 
Duucan F. Stewart were elected as 
Public School trustees, and Mr Jas. 
Craig as a High School trustee. There 
was some talk after getting iuto the 
new High School building, of another 
assistant being necessary, but the 
urgency was doubted by some of the 
cautious ones, and the matter was 
laid aside. There had long been a 
grievance with the Separate School 
supporters that improper tax levies 
were made upon them. The Secretary 
reported that after investigation he 
found that in the years 1872, 73 and 
75 there had been altogether collected 
from them unduly the sum of 
$183.72. All the teachers were re-en 
gaged fur 1882 except Mr Oarey, who 
resigned. Mr R. A. Barrou, of Tor 
onto, was engaged in his place as 
teacher of languages. The old Gram 
mar School was rented to the Inde 
pendent Foresters as a Hall. 

For 1882, Jas. Reynolds and Jas. 
Clark were chosen public school trus 
tees by election a rather unusual 
proceeding in those days Mr Thomas 
Knight being the unsuccessful candi 
date. Mr Jas. Craig was chosen 
chairman. There was nothing of 
moment during the year, but one 
night when Mr Craig came inlate, 
and Mr Wright was in the chair tem 
porarily, Mr Craig introduced a 
motion, which carried, offering 25o. 
for each and every pig impounded, 
taken from off Argyle street, near the 
public school premises. 

All the teachers were re-engagm! 
for 1888, except Miss M. Mills, who 
resigned, and whose place was taken 
by Miss Amy Smallfleld. James 
Stewart and William Airth were re- 
elected public school trustees. Early 
in the year, Mr Stevens asked leave 
to go to College for a time, and was 
allowed to go, supplying Mr Matthew 
Mackay as a substitute. A. A. 
Wright was once again chosen chair 
man of Hie Board. Rev. P. Rongier 
having complained to the Educational 
Department on the use of "Marmion" 
in the literary exercises of the High 

School, the Board announced that The 
Traveller" had been substituted. Two 
clocks were purchased for the schools, 
and the teachers by resolution in 
structed to keep them set to Kearney s 
time. At midsummer, Mr Barron 
asked to be released, owing to lack of 
harmony between himself and the 
principal; and satisfactory financial 
arrangements having been made, his 
resignation was accepted. Clifford 
Kemp, of Codrington, became his suc 
cessor ; and Mr John Raine, of Carle- 
ton Place, was engaged as principal of 
the Model School. In November, 
Messrs Wright, Craig and Clark ware 
appointed a committee to ascertain 
the cost of building a wing to the 
Public School. 

For 1884, Elkanah Mayhew and D. 
F. Stewart were re-elected Public 
School trustees, the other P. S. trus 
tees being Wm. Airth, James Stewart, 
James Reynolds and James Clark. 
High School trustees in that year 
were A. A. Wright, Peter Dougall, 
Geo. Eady, Jr., Patrick Devine and 
Jas Ward. The teaching staff was, 
in the High School. Chas. McDowell, 
Principal, at $850, and C. G. Camp 
bell, of Parkdale, at $600; in the Pub 
lic School, Joseph Boag, of Lansing, 
Principal, $(500, and Misses M. Mills, 
B. Mitchell and A. Smallfield as as- 
sUtauts. Mr Wright was re-elected 
chairman, and Mr Eady secretary- 
treasurer. Early in the year it was 
decided to engage another assistant 
teacher for the Public School, and to 
place her clams in the old Grammar 
School building. Miss Maggie Fraser 
was engaged as teacher in it. There 
was tree-planting in that year; Mr 
Andrew Frood undertaking to place 
trees around the School grounds at 25c. 
each, and to replace any that did not 
grow the second year. After an ad 
dress by Mr R. G. Scott, I.P.S. for 
the county, in favor of a wing to the 
Public School instead of new Ward 
Schools, the Board decided to build 
the wing. In July, Mr Thos. Hen 
derson was awarded the contract for 
building the wing at $3,345. Miss 



Fraser resigning, Miss Norah Soper 
was engaged as junior assistant. 

For 1885, Messrs McDowell and 
Campbell were re-engaged for the 
High School. In the Public School 
Mr Boag was also re-engaged and the 
three lady assistants, having notified 
the Board that they did not wish re- 
engagement Miss Eva Cameron, Miss 
Maggie S. MacDonald, (Paisley) and 
Miss Andison (Perth) were appointed 
in their places. G. W. MacDonald 
replaced Jas. Reynolds as Public 
School trustee, and Messrs Wright and 
Eady were re-elected to their posi 
tions. At mid-summer, it was decid 
ed to add a teacher in elocution and 
music to the High School staff. Miss 
E. J. Cox, of Hamilton, was engaged. 

For 1886, W. H. Harlton, of Beams- 
ville, replaced Mr Boag as principal 
of the Public School, and Miss Alice 
MacDonnell replaced Miss Eva Camer 
on, who had resigned; and at the 
annual election, Thomas Knight re- 
placed Wm. Airth as Public School 
trustee, and Cornelius Enright was 
added to the High School board. 
Messrs Wright and Eady were re- 
elected to their positions. This year 
the Higli School Inspector presented a 
report strongly condemning the ac 
commodation and surroundings of the 
school building. The Board prompt 
ly planted some more trees and 
promised to make other improvements. 
Miss Smallfield was engaged as Model 
School term assistant ; and the matter 
of the improper levies on the Separ 
ate School supporters in 1882-83-84 
and % 85 again came up. The Board 
offered re-engagement to all the 
teachers: but Misses Maggie Mac- 
Donald and Alice MacDonnell tender 
ing their resignations, Belle McKer- 
racher, of Perth, and Lily Allan 
were appointed iu their places. Miss 
McKerracher did not come. Several 
efforst were made to get other teach 
ers and Miss A. E. Kinsey was finally 
appointed. The Separate School diffi 
culty was met by the Board recom 
mending that the Village Council pay 

to the Separate School supporters 
$300 in full of their claim. 

For 1887, the Board remained the 
same. In May, communication was 
received from the Whitby Board ask 
ing co-operation in forming a Pro 
vincial Association of School Trustees 
and naming the date and place of 
that body s first meeting. Mr Mc 
Dowell was re-engaged for 1888 at 
$950. Mr C. G. Campbell resigning 
the assistant s position, Mr Ralph 
Ross was chosen to replace him ; but- 
after telegraphing that he would 
come, wrote that he could not, and 
Mr Stephen H. Murphy was engaged 
as assistant at $700. Miss Cox had re 
signed, but the Board appointed a 
committee to ask her to remain. T. 
C. Smith succeeded W. H. Harlton as 
principal of the Model School ; and 
Miss Louise Freer was appointed 
second assistant in place of Miss 
Allan, who resigned. Miss Agnes 
Roberston, of Perth, was engaged as 
assistant to the principal of the Model 
School during the Model term. In 
December, the teachers were instruct 
ed by resolution of Messrs James Ward 
and James Stewart to introduce the 
Temperance Text-book into the 

For 1888, James Clark was re-elect 
ed public school trustee, and Donald 
Stewart and John Park replaced 
Elkanah Mayhew and Thomas Knight. 
James McCrea replaced Cornelius 
Enright as the nominee of the Separ 
ate School Board on the High School 
Board. Messrs Wright and Eady were 
re-elected chairman and secretary. In 
February Miss Cox resigned owing to 
ill-health. In that month also the 
Board decided to buy a bell for the 
Model School tower. Miss Paul, of 
Newburgh, was chosen to fill the posi 
tion vacated by Miss Cox, till mid 
summer. In November all the teachers 
expressed willingness to re-engage ex 
cept Mr S. H. Murphy and Miss 
Freer. Miss O. Alioe Cameron, of 
Kingston, was chosen to fill Mr 
Murphy s position, and Miss M. E. 
Sim to fill that vacated by Miss Freer. 



For 1889, G. W. McDonald, Jas. 
Stewart and D. F. Stewart were re- 
elected Public School trustees ; Mr P. 
S. Stewart was appointed a High School 
trustee ; Mr Arthur Gravelle became 
the Separate School representative on 
the High School Board. Mr A. A. 
Wright was re-elected chairman and 
Mr Eady secretary-treasurer. Miss 
Agnes Robertson having resigned her 
position as assistant in the Model 
School, Miss Beile Eady was ap 
pointed in her stead. In June Miss 
Louise Freer was engaged as assistant 
in the Model School and Miss Etta 
Anderson as assistant in the High 
School. In July, Mr Cha&. M. 
French, of Oshawa, was engaged as 
assistant to the Principal for the 
Model School term. A petition from 
the pupils of the Public School for 
an hour and a half s recess at noon 
was refused by the Board. In Octob 
er, Mr McDowell was re-engaged as 
principal of the High School at $950; 
Mr Smith as principal of the Model 
School at $775. Misses Andison and 
Sim were re-engaged as assistants in 
the Model School; and at this meet 
ing a resolution that in future" the 
schools be granted a whole day s 
holiday on the last day of the 
Renfrew Exhibition was carried on 
motion of Messrs James Stewart and 
John Park. In November, John H. 
Mills, of Kingston, was engaged as 
first assistant in the High School at 
$750 ; Miss Annie Kennedy as one of 
the assistants in the Model School at 
$225 ; and another department was 
added to the Model School with Miss 
Annie Riddell as teacher for 1890 
<at $225. Near the close of 1889. death 
removed Mr D. F. Stewart from the 
Board, and a resolution of condolence 
with his family found place in the 
minutes of the meeting, on 17th De 

For 1890, James Clark, Donald 
Stewart and John Park were re- 
elected Public School trustees, and 
William Airth was chosen to fill the 
unexpired term of the late D. F. 
Stewart. The Puolic School Board 

thus comprised these four and Messrs 
Jas. Stewart and G. W. McDonald. 
The High School trustees were A. A. 
Wright, Geo. Eady, Jr., P. Devine, 
P. Dougall, P. S. Stewart and J. K. 
Gorman. Messrs Wright and Eady 
were re-elected to their positions as 
chairman and secretary treasurer. 

In July, Misses Etta Anderson and 
Louise Freer were re-engaged, and 
Miss Margaret J. Campbell, of To 
ronto, was chosen principal s assistant 
for the Model term. In October, 
Messrs McDowell and Mills were re 
engaged for the High School for 1891 ; 
and T. C. Smith and Miss M. M. 
Andison were re-engaged for the Pub 
lic School. In November, Miss Tena 
Wilson, of Carleton Place, was en 
gaged for the junior department of 
the Public School, and Miss Essie de 
Long for the first half and Miss M. 
E. Sim for the last half of 1891 for 
the 3rd department of the Public 
School. Mr Smith having declined 
the proffered re-engagement, Mr 
Chas. M. French was offered the 
Principalship of the Model School, 
and in the event of his declining the 
engagement was authorized of Mr E. 
Newton Jory, of Bath, at $650, "and if 
Miss Wilson did not accept Miss Mary 
Jamieson was to be engaged as 4th 
assistant. Mr French did decline ; and 
Mr .Tory duly entered upon- a service 
that lasted several years. For trustees 
for 1891 there was onoe more the un 
usual proceeding of an election. 
Messrs William Airth, David Barr, 
James Craig, W. H. Kearney, G. W. 
McDonald and James Stewart were 
nominated to fill three positions. It 
was a close contest for most of them. 
David Barr and W. H. Kearney head 
ed the poll, while Wm. Airth and 
James Craig were a tie. It lay with 
Mr Barr as the highest assessed mem 
ber of the Board" to give the casting 
vote and he elected Mr Airth. James 
Clark, Donald Stewart and John 
Park were the other members of the 
Public School Board. G. W. Mc 
Donald was appointed a High School 
trustee, and Wm. O Connor became 



Separate School representative on 
that Board. Messrs Wright and Eady 
were re-elected as chairman and sec 

In February of 1891, the teachers 
petitioned that their salaries be paid 
to them in monthly instalments, in 
stead of quarterly as neretofore. This 
was iu line with the growing dispos 
ition generally to get away from the 
"credit system," and substituting 
that of cash buying, and the Board 
agreed to the request of the teachers. 
In April, Inspector Scott insisted on 
the need oi an additional teacher in 
the Public School, and Miss Marjory 
Ward was engaged. In May the old 
grammar school building on Flaunt 
street was advertised for sale, and 
was purchased by tender by Geo. 
McArthur for $551. Miss Ettie 
Anderson having declined re-engage 
ment as second assistant in the High 
School, Miss Maggie Smith, of Har- 
riettsville, was engaged in her place. 
In August, Qeo. R. Wood, of Dalston, 
was engaged as assistant to the Prin 
cipal during the Model term. In that 
month also, Mr J. H. Mills, first 
assistant in the High School, asked to 
be released that he might take the 
Principalship of the Hawkesbury High 
School. At first the Board declined 
to release him, but upon his offering 
Mr S. H. Murphy as a susbtitute, the 
Board agreed to his departure on 
October 1st. In November, Mr Mc 
Dowell was re-engaged and his salary 
increased to $1,000. Mr Murphy de 
clining re-engagement as first assist 
ant, there was considerable trouble in 
getting out of the 31 applicants a suc 
cessor who could teach all the subjects 
the Board desired, but finally Mr Win. 
Hardie. of Toronto, was secured. 
Among those passed over were Thos. 
O Hagan, who has since attained 
some fame as a writer. In the Model 
School, Mr E. N. Jory and Misses M. 
M. Audison, M. E. Sim and Mary 
Jamieson were re-engaged, and Miss 
Lucy W. Wright engaged as assistant 
in the junior department. 

At the annual election for 1892, 

James Clark, Donald Stewart and 
John Park were re-elected Public 
School trustees ; the other members be 
ing David Barr, W. H. Kearney and 
Wm. Airth. The High School trustees 
were A. A. Wright, Geo. Eady, Pat 
rick Devine, Jas. Ward, D. O. Mc- 
Martiu. Mr S. O Gorman was ap 
pointed to the High School Board by 
the Separate School trustees, but de 
clined to act. Mr P. J. O Dea was 
appointed in his stead. Messrs Wright 
and Eady were re elected Chairman 
and Secretary. Early in the year it 
was decided that 40c. a month should 
be imposed on non-resident pupils at 
tending the Public School. In May, 
Miss Maggie Smith was offered re- 
engagement as second assistant in the 
High School, and Miss Louise Freer 
as one of the assistants in the Model 
School ; each being granted an in 
crease ; and Miss Belle Eady was ap 
pointed Principal s assistant for the 
Model term. Mr Hardie having tele 
graphed his resignation in August, 
the Board was inclined to hold him ; 
but did not push the matter at the 
time. But several attempts to get an 
assistant failed. Then one Geo. D. 
Morrell came, but had not the neces 
sary legal qualifications and was 
allowed to depart after two weeks 
trial. Then the Board was instructed 
to take legal advice to see if they 
could not get damages from Mr 
Hardie ; bat no farther action is re 
corded. Finally Mr S. H. Marphy 
was induced to keep the work going 
for a month or two. Shortly after, 
Miss Smith asked to be released. She 
had heard the Board intended to 
make changes in the arrangements at 
the New Year, and had a good offer 
from Napanne. Under the circum 
stances, Miss Smith was allowed to 
go, on providing Miss McNab as a 
substitute. In the Public School, too, 
there had been changes. Miss Sim 
had been ill, and was replaced for 
a time by Miss Hattie Thompson, and 
eventually by Miss Maggie Stewart. 
IB October, Mr John Kellock, of 
Queen s College, Kingston, was se- 



cured to teach as assistant in the 
High School till the end of the term: 
and Mr John Findlay, of Pembroke, 
also seems to have been engaged for 
a time; and the Board endeavored 
to make a Mr Shipley fulfil an en 

In November, 1892, another junior 
teacher was added to the Public 
School staff in Miss Katie Russell. 

For 1893, Jas. Craig, D. W. Stewart 
and Jas. K. Rochester were elected 
Public School trustees, in place of 
Messrs D. Barr, W. H. Kearney and 
Wm. Airth, whose term had expired. 
The other Public School trustees were 
Jas. Clark, John Park, and Donald 
Stewart, while the High School trus 
tees were A. A. Wright, G. W. Mc 
Donald, Jas. Ward, P. J. O Dea, P. 
Devine, D. C. McMartin ancl Geo. 
Eady, Jr. Messrs Wright and Eady 
were once again elected chairman and 
secretary. At this meeting, Mr Jory, 
Principal of the Model School, made 
an appeal to the Board for the phonic 
system of teaching rather than the 
alphabetic method, but the Board took 
no action at that meeting. In May, 
the junior department o: the school 
was so overcrowded that half only of 
the pupils were permitted to come in 
tne morning, the other half in the 
afternoon. At midsummer, Misses 
Louise Freer and Maggie Stewart re 
signed their positions on the teaching 
staff. Miss Belle Eady was promoted 
to the charge of Miss Fresr s room, 
and Misses Flora McEonald and 
Cynth ia Wright (of Pembroke), were 
Appointed to the vacancies. The 
teaching staff re-engaged at midsum 
mer comprised Mr McDowell as Prin 
cipal, and Mr Robert Young as assist 
ant in the High School, with Miss 
Carrie Misener, of Grimsby, second 
assistant in place of Miss Annis. In 
the Public School, the teachers en 
gaged were Mr Jory, Misses Andison, 
Eady, Russell and Jennie Hilliard (of 
Richmond). Mr Young, however, re 
signed his place on the High School 
staff, and Mr W. R. Robeson, of Tor 

onto was named as his successor. 

For 1894, Jas. Clark ancl Donald 
Stewart were re-elected Public School 
trustees, and Mr J. H. Walford suc 
ceeded by Mr Park. Mr Clark was 
chosen chairman this year, on Mr 
Wright s motion, and Mr Eady was 
re-engaged as secretary-treasurer. 
There was a discussion on the point 
of the need for more accommodation 
for the Public School, and Messrs 
McDonald, Craig and Clark were ap 
pointed as a committee to ascertain if 
a site could be obtained for a Ward 
School. They reported at the next 
meeting that they could not get a 
site; and at the same session the sec 
retary was instructed to ask tne Edu 
cation Department what kind of a 
building would be suitable for a High 
School for Renfrew, and if the De 
partment would furnish plans. In 
March, Miss Alice Elliott, of Ottawa, 
was added to the staff of the Public 
School. Mr Robeson retiring from 
the classical mastership of the High 
School, T. A. Owen, of Dutton, was 
engaged in his stead at $750 a year, 
and Miss Belle D. Halliday, of 
Springtown, was engaged for the 
Public School staff in place of Miss 
Flora McDonald, resigned; while 
Jas. L. Johnston, of Fournier, was 
engaged as assistant to the Principal 
for the Model term. Miss Andison 
retiring, Miss T. M. Scratch was en 
gaged in her place for 1895, but did 
not accept, and Miss Amy E. Small- 
field was appointed to the place. 
Miss Russell also retired, and Miss 
Lucy Griffith, of Hamilton, was ap 
pointed in her stead. 

In 1895 there was somewhat more 
interest than usual in the annual 
election of Public School trustees. 
For in this year, Renfrew advanced 
to the municipal dignity of a town; 
and this required a fresh start in 
electing trustees: not as in the past, 
three elected by the whole town, but 
six to be elected by wards. For the 
North Ward, W. A. Mackay and D. 
W. Stewart were elected by acclama- 



tion. For the centre ward, N. Mc- 
Cormack, M.D., and J. H. Walford 
were elected; Messrs J. K. Rochester 
and Alex. Ferguson, who also were 
nominated, retiring. In the South 
Ward also, there was election of John 
Park and W. M. Dickson by acclama 
tion; Messrs Donald Stewart, Rev. 
Mr Quartermaine, James Clark, Wm. 
Mills and Albert Smallfield, who all 
had been nominated as well, retiring. 
At the next meeting of the Board, the 
six elected balloted to decide which 
should sit for one and which for two 
years: the two-year term falling to 
Messrs Stewart, Walford and Dickson. 
The members of the High Sshool 
Board for the year were Messrs A. A. 
Wright, Jas. Ward, Geo. Eady, Jr., 
G. W. McDonald, S. McDougall, P. J. 
O Dea, and D<- Galligan. Mt Mc 
Donald was elected chairman and Mr 
Geo. Eady, Jr., re-elected secretary- 
treasurer. In April, the managing 
committee was instructed to get 
plan and specifications from Mr J. 
D. McNicol for proposed alteations 
in the Model School to provide more 
accomodation ; and in May Mr Mc 
Dowell was present with a sketch of 
a proposed addition to the High 
School. In June the contract for the 
alterations to the Model School was 
let to W. N. Roberts for $425: and Mr 
Ward was instructed to ascertain the 
possibility of excavating under the 
Model School to put in coal furnaces, 
and the probable cost. In July, ten 
ders were received for the installa 
tion cf heating by coal furnaces, and 
the managing committee was in 
structed to get estimate of the pro 
bable cost of the proposed en 
largements to the High School. At 
a meeting a week later, the tender 
tor heating was awaraea to uie Wm. 
Buck Company, of Brantford, for 
$482. Miss Halliday was re-engaged 
as assistant in the Public School, and 
T. A. Owen as assistant in the 
High School. In August the con 
tract for the enlargement of the High 
School was awarded to Messrs Mof- 

fat & Co. and Fred Hilliard for 
$5,042. This provided for doubling 
the size of the school and for the 
erection of a third storey. Messrs 
Walford, McDonalu and Eady were 
and authorized to procure an inspec 
tor. Miss Flora McDonald was en 
gaged as Principal s assistant for the 
Model Sshool term. Miss Smallfield 
having notified the Board that she 
did not wish re-engagement fr 1896, 
Miss Bella Eady was appointed to 
her place as first assistant in the 
Public School, and Miss Flora Mc 
Donald as second assistant. Misses 
Lucy Griffith, Jennie Hilliard and 
Alice Elliott were re-engaged as 
Public School assistants, and Mr Mc 
Dowell re-engaged as principal of 
the High School and Miss Carrie 
Misener as second assistant in that 
school. In November Mr Geo. McAr- 
thur was awarded the work of puc- 
ting in two coal furnaces at the High 
tichool for $444; and the chairman 
was instructed to write the Minister 
of Education for Ontario, asking him 
to come to the opening of the en 
larged High School in February. Mr 
McDowell was delegated to visit Ot 
tawa schools to get ideas on the 
equipment of a science room. 

For 1896, W. A. Mackay, Dr. Mc- 
Cormack and John Park were re- 
elected Public School trustees, and 
Joseph Gravelle and Dr. Murphy were 
placed on the High School board in 
succession to P. J. O Dea. and G. W. 
McDonald. W. M. Dickson was elect 
ed chairman, and in his opening ad 
dress strongly urged the institution 
of Kindergarten classes. In March, 
Principal McDowell asked for the 
services of an additional teacher in 
the High School. In April it was 
decided to enlarge the Public School 
grounds by the purchase of the 
Wedge lot for $700. In July, Mr Jory 
principal of the Model Schol, brought 
to the Board s attention the new 
system of copy books known as the 
"Vertical" system of writing. He 
thought they were an improvement 



and recommended their use. At this 
meeting, Misses Edith Airth and 
Lucy Wright were engaged as assis 
tant teachers in the Public School 
and Mr Stewart gave notice that he 
would introduce a motion to advertise 
for a fourth teacher for the High 
School. Miss Mabel Pringle, of 
Unionville, was engaged as principal s 
assistant for the Model term, and in 
August W. C. Ewing, of Westport, 
was engaged as additional teacher in 
the High School. In September, after 
discussion at several meetings, it was 
decided that the vertical system of 
writing should not at that time be 
introduced into the Renfrew schools. 
In November, the newly organized 
Literary Society asked the Board to 
light the third storey of the H;gh 
School for their use. The Fire Brig 
ade asked for the use of part of the 
High School grounds for the erection 
of a skating and curling rink. Mr 
McDowell and Miss Misener were re 
engaged on the High School staff; 
and Mr Jory and Misses Belle Eady, 
Flora McDonald and Lucy Griffith 
were re-engaged for the Public 
School. The Board rented the Fire 
Brigade 60xlv5 feet of land for a 
rink fcr ten years at $10 a year; and 
Messrs Mackay, Stewart and Eady 
were appcinted a committee 10 look 
for a suitable site for a Ward school 
across the Bonnechere River. In De 
cember, the Town Council having 
taken over the Mechanics Institute to 
convert it into a free public library, 
asked the Board to appoint three per 
sons to the Board of Management. 
Messrs Alex. Pirie, S. T. Chown and 
.las. Craig were chosen. 

For 1897, D. W. Stewart, J. H. Wai- 
ford and W. M. Dickson were re-elect 
ed to the Board of Public School trus 
tees; the other members being W. A. 
Mackay, Dr. McCormacK and John 
Park, for North, Centre and South 
Wards respectively. The members of 
the High School Board were Geo. 
Eady, jr., Joseph Gravelle, G. W. Mc 
Donald, S. McDougall, Dr. Murphy, Jas. 

Ward, J. H. Walford and A. A. Wright. 
W. M. Dickson was chosen chairman 
for the year; and Geo. o_ady, jr., secre 
tary. The Mercury had for some time 
been advocating the establishment of 
an Agricultural High School in Ren 
frew. The Board passed a resolution 
that it would provide accommodation 
for such an Agricultural High School 
if the Educational Department would 
provide the teacher; the resolution be 
ing forwarded to Mr W. E. Smallfield, 
who was in Toronto, for presentation 
to the Department. At this same Feb 
ruary meeting, Messrs Eady, Mackay 
and Stewart were made a committeo 
to secure a site for a Ward Schoc 1 :n 
the North Ward. At a later metting, 
Mr Smallfield reported to the Hoard 
Thr.t the Educational Denai-un^n: \v?.s 
not prepared to make a special grant 
to any one Agricultural School, but 
would consider a general grant to such 
High Schools as would establish Ag 
ricultural classes during the winter 
months. T. A. Owen resigned Lie 
classical mastership of the High 
School; the resignation to taue 
effect at master. Hugh W. Bryan, of 
Kingston, was chosen in his place at 
the rate of $700 a year. John D. Mc- 
Nicol was appointed to the Public Lib 
rary Board in place of .aiex. -irie, 
whose term expired. ^The Board offer 
ed the Corporation of the Town $200 
for three lots on the west side of Vic 
toria street, as a site for a Ward 
school. This was accepted, and Messrs 
Stewart, McDonald and McD-nigjll 
were appointed a conuuitti-e to get 
r ans for the new school building to he 
pl.ved thereon. A skelni from ]-J. hil- 
lon. architect, showed a school to cost 
$2,200, including heating apparatus and 
the seating of the lower flat. At the 
May meeting, Messrs Bryan and Ewing 
were re-engaged as teachers in tne 
High School at increase of salary, find 
Misses Belle Halliday, Edith Airth and 
Lucy Wright were re-engaged as teach 
ers in the Public School. The Man 
aging Committee were authorized to 
buy flag-poles and flags for the schols, 


for the celebration of Queen Victoria s 
Jubilee Day; as well as small flags for 
the children to use in procession on 
that -day, and portraits of Her Majesty, 
to be placed in each department of the 
schools. The tender of Tinswood Burt 
on, to erect the new Ward School for 
$1,950, complete, was accepted. The 
tender of Gurney Massey to put in t^e 
heating apparatus for 187 was ac 
cepted, in August, Mr Jory s repeat 
ed requests to be allowed to introduce 
vertical writing copy-books into the 
school, was rewarded, the Board on 
motion of Messrs McDougall and Stew 
art, granting the desired permission. 
Out of 53 applicants for the position of 
principal s assistant during the Model 
term, three men were chosen, but all 
failing to come, Miss Maggie Stewart 
was finally appointed. In September, it 
was decided, en motion of Messrs Mc 
Donald and Stewart, to put a taoiet in 
the Ward School, it the "Vic 
toria" School. In October, Mr Burton 
reported to the Board that he had al 
ready expended $1,758 on the building, 
with the plastering, painting anu glaz 
ing still to be done. He asked to be 
relieved of the contract. After consid 
erable negotauon, the Board appointed 
architect Dillcn to finish the building. 
In November, Miss Halliday resigned 
her position and Miss Maggie Stewart 
was appointed for this department. 
Others teachers re-engaged were: Mr 
IvicDowell and Miss Misencr in the 
High School: Mr Jory, and Misses 
Belle Eady, tlora McDonald, and Lucy 
Griffith in the Public Jchool. 

In 1898, W. A. Mackay, Dr. McCor- 
mack and John Park were elected 
Public School trustees; tue other 
members being D. W. Stewart, J. H. 
Walford and W. M. Dickson. The 
x-Ligh School trustees were A. A. 
Wright, G. W. McDonald, Dr. Cleary, 
Geo. Eady, Jr., Jas. Ward, Jos. Gra- 
velle and Dr. Murphy. Mr Dickson 
was re-elected chairman, and Mr 
Eady, secretaiy-trcasurcr. The sec 
retary was instructed to write the De 
partment of Education regarding the 

organization of a company of volun 
teers in the High School, the Depart 
ment to furnish the rifles; the Board 
to provide the uniforms and a quali 
fied drill sergeant. Miss Flora Mc 
Donald was transferred from the cen 
tral school to be principal of the 
Ward School; and the Secretary waa 
instructed to advertise for a teacher 
for the Central School who could 
teach vocal music. Messrs Bryan 
and Ewing were re-engaged as assist 
ants in the High School. Miss Carrie 
Misener resigned. In July, tenders 
were accepted from H. Moss to put 
water and sewer connections into the 
schools. In September, Messrs 
Wright and McDonald moved that in 
quiry be made of the Department in 
Toronto if the High Sctuxx had the 
equipment to be formed into a Col 
legiate Institute. In November, 
Messrs McDowell and Jory were re-en 
gaged as Principals of the High and 
Model Schools respectively. Misses 
Belle Eady, Flora McDonald, Maggie 
Stewart and Lucy Griffith were re 
engaged on the Model School staff 
and Miss Edna Inglis added to it. 

For 1899, Jas. Clark, J. H. Walford 
and D. W. Stewart were eiected Pub 
lic School trustees, the otners being 
John Park, Dr. McCormack and W. 
A. Mackay. The High School trus 
tees were G.W. MacDonald, Jas. Ward 
A. A. Wright, Geo. Eady, Jr., Dr. 
Cleary, Dr. Murphy, Jos. Gravelle. 
Mr W. A. Mackay was elected chair 
man; and Geo. Eady, Jr., re-appoint 
ed secretary-treasurer. In April, D. 
W. Stewart and Dr. Murphy were ap 
pointed a committee to inquire into 
the cost of getting the High School 
changed into a Collegiate Institute. 
The Department meantime notified 
the Board that a fifth teacher was 
needed for the number of pupils. A 
testimonial was granted to Miss Mc- 
(jriverin, who had retired from the 
staff; and Messrs Bryan and Ewing 
and Miss Menish were reengaged as 
High School assistants; and .Misses 
Belle Eady, Flora McDonald. Lucy 



Griffith, Edith Airth, ],ucy Wright, 
Edna Inglis and Maggie Stewart were 
re-engaged as Public School teachers. 
Miss Stewart resigning, Miss Kate 
Moffatt was engaged in her stead. 

engaged as Principal s assistant dur 
ing the Model term. Miss Jean Dav 
idson was engaged as assistant in the 
High School. In November, Messrs 
McDowell and Jory were re-engaged 

Miss Maggie Russell, of Arnprior, was for 1900. 




The late Rev. Dr. Campbell in his 
telling of the Story of Renfrew had 
brought its municipal history up to 
the end of 1859; and so, in renewing 
the thread, it has become our lot to 
scan the pages of the minute books 
of the years succeeding. In 1860 the 
ratepayers for the third time, chose 
their municipal governors, Geo. 
Ross officiating as returning officer 
and Areh. McGregor as Poll Clerk. 
The voters had for choice: Jchn 
Smith, J. L. McDougall, Sr., A. R. 
McDonald, H. Bellerby, Arch. Thom 
son, John McRae, R. C. Mills and 
Sampson Coumbs. They chose 
Smith, Bellerby, McDonald, Thom 
son and Mills in the order named. 
The Councillors, when they gathered, 
chose Mr Smith as Reeve; and Geo. 
Ross as Clerk and Treasurer at a 
salary of 12 10s. John Burns was 
appointed collector and assessor at 
7 10s. A. R. McDonald resigned in 
February, and J. L. McDougall was 
elected in his stead. 

Already the village was showing 
the first indication of the demand for 
good streets for Mr Bellerby gave 
notice of the introduction of a by 
law to provide for the erection of 
sidewalks: and as the year progress 
ed, he saw the project through; the 
by-law being the 28th in the village 
records, and the sidewalks to be con 
structed being on the west side of 
Raglan from bridge to bridge, and on 
the east side of the street from Mc- 
Andrew s (where the Dominion nouse 
now is) to Merrick s, (which was at 
the north side of Renfrew street); 
and also a walk on the north side cf 
the Bonnechere bridge as far as 
Wright s Hotel; and on the east side 
of Smith s creek, as far as the manse 
lot. Louis Laventure was the suc 
cessful tenderer at $3.32V 2 per rod. 

But a hitch came, over the building 
of the crossings, and the year went 
out with special meetings being held 
to arrive at an adjustment. 

But sidewalks were not the only 
improvement carried on. Drainage, 
too, was under discussion, and 15 
was voted to improve the private 
drain which had been built through 
the Mclnnes property on centre 
Main street out to the gulleys where 
the C.P.R. station now is located. 

As is often the way, where there 
is construction work, there is fric 
tion; and for some reason not re 
corded, Messrs Mills and Thomson 
resigned their posrtion on the street 
committee. The contest evidently 
went deeper than this: for Mr Mills 
having absented himself from Coun 
cil for three months, it was decided 
after some conflict in Council, to 
void his seat and choose a successor. 
This was done so late in the year as 
Nov. 21st, when John McAndrew was 
chosen to fill the vacancy. There 
had been another break in the Coun 
cil s circle earlier in the year, caused 
by the death of Mr McDougall in 
May; on the 29th of which month 
William Mackay was chosen to fill 
the vacancy. 

In the month of May, too, tae 
Council had a larger question than 
that of mere village politics to con 
sider. Hon. John A. Macdonald, then 
Attorney-General of Canada West, 
had introduced a bill to detach eight 
townships from Renfrew county and 
annex them to Frontenac. This set 
the heather on fire and at a special 
meeting on May 2nd, Messrs Smith, 
Bellerby and Hugh Torney were ap 
pointed a committee to protest, and 
Council also made a grant of 12 10s. 
to send someone to the seat of Gov 
ernment (Quebec) to oppose the bill. 



Geo. Ross was appointed to go, and 
to call on J. L. McDougall at Ottawa 
to get his assistance in the matter. 
At the same time Reeve Smith was 
authorized to go to Bagot to rouse 
the people there to fprotest as well. 
On the 9th of June, a public indigna 
tion meeting in Renfrew requested 
that the Reeve also go to Quebec to 
protest and voted his expenses of 
12 10s. In this year the village 
also, felt the pulsing of life in an 
other direction. The first unruly 
citizens must have appeared in the 
garden, for Mr X. Flaunt offered the 
Council two rooms in his hotel free 
as a lock-up. Council accepted the 
rooms, but evidently would not accept 
them as a gift; as the record says 
that after a conference, Mr Flaunt 
agreed to give the lock-up for any 
number of years, and on such terms 
of payment as the Council should 
think proper. 

The Agricultural Society asked 
Council to petition the Government 
to change the date of the Spring 
Fair to the first Wednesday in May 
and the Fall Fair to the first Wed 
nesday in October. 

It was noted that E. Murphy re 
signed the position of pound-keeper 
as he was leaving the village, and H. 
Groves was appointed in his stead. 

The rate of taxation for the year 
was fixed at 2 l / 2 pence in the pound: 
and thus was brought to an end the 
first and a busy year in a new decade. 

In 1861, the men nominated for 
Council were John Munro, Jr., John 
Smith, John McAndrew, William 
Mackay, Archibald Thomson, Henry 
Bellerby, R. C. Mills. It was any 
man s race: for the highest polled 
44, and the lowest 28. Mackay, 44; 
Smith, 43; Munro, 41; Mills, 33; Bel 
lerby, 33; McAndrew, 28; Thomson, 
28. The first, five were the elected. 
These were the days when the Coun 
cil elected the Reeve from among 
their own number; and from the 
start there was evidence that some 
feeling was aroused over matters 

that do not now appear on the sur 
face. For something out of the or 
dinary occurred. There was an ad 
dress presented from the household 
ers and freeholders requesting the 
Council to elect John Smith as Reeve 
again; and a protest was also handed 
in by Abraham Frase-r and Patrick 
Kelly against John Munro, Jr., and 
R. C. Mills taking their seats: though 
the records give no hint of the why 
or wherefore. But those protested 
against were in no resigning mood; 
rather, indeed, they were much in 
evidence. For Councillors Mills and 
Mackay moved that John Munro, Jr., 
be Reeve. In amendment it was 
moved by Messrs Bellerby and Smith 
that Mr Smith be Reeve. The amend 
ment was defeated, and Mr Munro. 
became Reeve. That settled, there 
was trouble over the Clerkship. 
Councillors Mackay and Mills moved 
that Geo. Ross be Clerk. In amend 
ment, Messrs Bellerby and Smith 
moved that Mr Ross be Clerk and 
Treasurer. The amendment was 
lost. Mr Ross declined to accept the 
Clerkship. Then Messrs Smith and 
Mackay moved that William Hal- 
penny be Clerk. This was carried. 
But Mr Halpenny declined. Then 
Messrs Mills and Mackay had an 
other try nominating Jas. Watt for 
Clerk. Messrs Smith and Bellerby 
moved in amendment that Robert 
Morgan be Clerk. This amendment 
carried. John Munro, Sr., was chosen 
Treasurer. The Assessorship caused, 
another contest. Messrs Mills and 
Mackay moved that Henry Airth, Sr., 
be assessor. Then Messrs Smith and 
Bellerby -moved that Mr Airth and 
Robert Drysdale be joint assessors. 
This was lost. Then Mr Smith mov 
ed that Wm. McKay, agent, be asses 
sor. This also was lost. And the 
first motion carried. A. R. McDon 
ald was appointed collector. Geo. 
Ross was appointed issuer of tavern 
licenses; but declining this post, 
Robert Morgan had it added to his 
office: the Clerkship and all for a 
salary of $40. 



Thus early in the village history 
there were streets difficulties to un 
ravel, or rather applications for un 
used parts of streets; one from 
Sampson Coumbs, one from John 
Smith asking for part of what is now 
Hall street, in lieu of a, portion of 
land in the extension of Albert and 
James street; one from Geo. Ross 
for a portion of the side road in front 
of the Town Hall, and one from Mr 
Bellerby for a portion opposite his 
place, (now Mr D. Barr s), in lieu of 
land given for the travelled roadway. 
Mr Bellerby s seemed to be the only 
one granted that year. The others 
were tossed about from meeting to 
meeting. Finally Mr Coumbs was 
advised that he must present a peti 
tion from the majority of the rate 
payers before his request could be 
granted; Messrs Munro, Mackay and 
Mills were appointed a committee to 
deal with Mr Smith s application and 
later to consult with Mr Harper, 
P.L.S., regarding it. But they appar 
ently purposely kept failing to report, 
and towards the close cf tne year, 
Mr Smith himself moved that his ap 
plication be left aside for that year. 
Mr Bellerby s application was grant 

But an even greater matter than 
internal management was before the 
Council this year. It was one in a 
sense big with fate for some town in 
the County. A County Town was to 
be selected. Early in the. year 
Messrs Munro, Smith and Bellerby 
were appointed a committee to draft 
a memorial to the Governor-General- 
in-Council and to take such further 
steps as they deemed expedient to 
set forth the claims of Renfrew to 
the honor of being selected as the 
County Town. Later on, Duncan 
Sinclair was especially thanked for 
his offer of assistance in seeking to 
have Renfrew chosen, and he was re 
quested to proceed to Quebec with 
the Reeve to establish the claims of 
the village. And while the question 
of the permanent meeting place of 

the County Council was being fought 
out before the Government and 
which topic is touched upon in an 
other portion of this Story the Ren 
frew Town Hall was being fitted up 
on motion of Messrs Smith and Bell 
erby, to receive the County Council 
lors for their meeting in June. But 
it was fated to be many years before 
the County Council should meet in 
Renfrew again. The fortunes of war 
went against Renfrew on this occa 
sion: Pembroke was chosen, and al 
though on the last day of August the 
Reeve presented a memorial for sub 
mission to His Excellency, the Gov 
ernor-General, praying him to recon 
sider his decision in the selection of 
the County Town, the petition did 
not avail. 

Meantime, the sidewalk policy pro 
mulgated in the preceding year had 
been pursued; and Renfrew was now 
"getting out of the mud" to the ex 
tent of 264% rods of plankwalk and 
13 rods of crossings: for which con 
tractor Louis Laventure received 
some $700 on account. Orange 
Wright (father of the present citi 
zen of that name) was practically 
Renfrew s first street superin 
tendent; he being asked to report on 
$30 worth of work done by Charles 
Holland on Albert street. And 
shortly afterwards, A. R. McDonald 
was thanked by Council for "his able 
discharge of the duties of Collector, 
in consideration of which he was 
asked to take the position of In 
spector of Streets with power to 
make repairs and to see that the by 
laws generally are enforced, at such 
salary as may be hereafter deter 
mined." Once again Mr Mills was 
absent for some time from the Coun- 
. cil board; but this year by consent, 
on motion carried in Council, because 
"he had taken a very extensive con- 

tract from the Government, at a 
great distance from this place." Mr 
Smith, too, asked for three months 
leave from 1s* October, and it was 



granted; but he returned before the 
close of the year. 

Clerk Morgan s bill for preparing 
the Hall for the County Council was 

In 1862, those chosen for Council 
lors were John Lorn McDougall, with 
50 votes, William Mackay 49, John 
Smith 48, David Airth 47, James 
Airth 43. Geo. Ross and Sampson 
Coumbs were defeated. That there 
were some irregularities actual or 
conceived in connection with the 
election, would seem apparent. In 
fact, a second election must have 
been talked of, because the retiring 
Council of 1861 by motion at two 
meetings, instructed the Clerk and 
other corporation officials to deliver 
up their books and documents to no 
body else than those designated as 
elected at the Temperance Hall en 
such a date (the group named above), 
and to give no cognizance whatever 
to any other election of Councillors 
for the municipality. The Council of 
1861 also, meeting in the early days 
of 62, named William Halpenny, 
Malcolm Mclntyre and John Mc- 
Andrew as a Board of Examiners un 
der the Inspection of Beef and Pork 
Act, to receive applications for the 
position of Inspector under that Act. 
Again this year there was much 
trouble apparent over the selection 
of municipal officials. The Reeve- 
ship, ho.wever, came easily to Mr 
Smith this year, by acclamation, on 
motion of Messrs McDougall and 
James Airth. Mr Robert Morgan 
was also re-elected Clerk; but it was 
all of two months bsfoie the other 
offices were filled. Council started 
off by appointing Messrs Watt and 
McAndrew as auditors, and Thomson 
as treasurer at $20; R. C. Mills as 
assessor at $20; O. Wright ?.s col 
lector at $30, A. Thomson as issuer 
of licenses at $20, and John McLean 
as pound-keeper. At the next meet 
ing, Mr Wright declining the Collect- 
orship, John Burns was appointed 
at $40. But double the salary did 

not appeal to Mr Burns for that 
post. At the next meeting his resig 
nation was considered, as well as 
that of Mr Mills as assessor. There 
upon Alex. Jamieson was named as 
collector at $40; and at a later meet 
ing, Robert Drysdale was chosen as 
sessor at $20; and at a still later 
session, Abraham Fraser was chosen 
Inspector of Beef and Pork. 

The temperance question was to 
the fore in those days also; and the 
Sons of Temperance petitioned the 
Council not to grant more hotel 
licenses than the law allowed. The 
license fees, placed by the Council 
were: Boarding houses, $30; shop 
licenses, $40; tavern, $70; but later 
the shop license fee was reduced to 
$28, open to all who chose to apply 
for it. But if Councillors of those days 
were not exactly prohibit onists, 
they also had a friendly eye to the 
interests of the church, for on mo 
tion of Messrs Mackay and Airtn, all 
taxes paid by any cieigyman were 
to be refunded. 

As yet there was no real Town 
Hall in Renfrew. Council had met in 
the Orange Hall, which was largely 
owned by Geo. Ross, but there had 
been friction with the former Clerk, 
and for a time the Counc l met 
either in the Temperance Hall or the 
hotel of A. D. Lesperance (down 
near where the McVeigh shop now 
stands.) In March, however, Reeve 
Smith and Messrs McDougall and D. 
Airth were appointed a committee 
to confer with Mr Ross about the 
purchase of his Hall. They after 
wards reported that they had offered 
Mr Ross 125 for his rights jn the 
Hall. He had refused thfs and 
wanted 200. On the 26th of Arril, 
when Council met, the committee 
presented a lengthy report dealing 
with the Hall question: setting forth 
the pressing need of expenditure on 
schccls, hall and bridges, and con 
cluding that they had thought H test 
to purchase the Hall from Mr Ross 



at 175; payable 50 down, 
50 in April of 1863, and 75 
in April 1864, at common in 
terest; building to be used as 
both Hall and school, and taken im 
mediate possession of: which possi 
bility of immediate possession was 
one of the deciding factors in the 
purchase. Though Duncan Sinclair 
had offered a free lot for a Hall site, 
Ccuncil ratified the action of the com 

Up to this time, the municipality s 
advertising had been done in Perth; 
but this year there was a bill rend 
ered by Mr Scott, publisher of the 
"Almonte Express." 

Two other noteworthy items in the 
municipal business of the year were 
the offering by Council of "$60 Re 
ward to anyone who could supply in 
formation that would secure the con 
viction of the party who mutilated a 
horse belonging to Abraham Eraser, 
a constable of this municipal ty, on 
25th-26th May," and also the voting 
of $40 to Archibald Thomson "on ac 
count of his zeal in assisting Council 
by the collection of taxes, and for 
many and great benefits which he 
has otherwise done, in carrying out 
the by-laws of this municipality; the 
same being done the more readily on 
account of the losses which ne has 
sustained, evidently from his energy 
on behalf of this municipality." Frcm 
which, reading between the lines at 
this distance, Renfrew, while on the 
whole was a moral and model com 
munity, was not without its sinners, 
even in those days of its municipal 

In December, the Council received 
from Archibald Thomson the copy of 
a resolution passed at a public meet 
ing of ratepayers, instructing the 
Council to grant an order for the 
sum of 50, to aid in defraying the 
cost incurred in a suit instituted by 
R. R. Smith on behalf of the rate 
payers of the county. Of this, 
18 10s. went to A. W. Bell as 
Treasurer of the fund, and the bal 

ance to private parties who had sub 

On January 5th, 1863, John Smith, 
William Mackay, Geo. Ross, Jas. 
Airth, M. Mclntyre, Robt. Mills, D. 
Airth, J. L. McDougall, John Burns, 
Joshua Murphy and William Logan 
were nominated for Council. How 
many of tham were candidates, the 
records do not say; but William 
Mackay, Geo. Ross, Robt. Mills, J. L. 
McDougall and James Airth were 
elected. By nomination of Messrs 
McDougall and Mills, James Arith 
was chosen Reeve. Robt. Morgan 
was appointed Clerk at 7 10s.; H. 
Airth, Sr., Treasurer, at 2 10; W. 
N. Faichney, Collector, 4; Robt. 
Drysdale, assessor, at 4; Robt. 
Morgan Issurer of Licenses, at 
2 10; and Alex. Jamieson, Inspec 
tor of Taverns, at five shillings per 
tavern inspected. Wm. Halpenny 
was appointed an auditor by the 
Reeve, and John McAndrew as aud 
itor by the Council; Chas. Hudson 
and Patrick Kelly were chosen 
Poundkeepers and D. Airth and 
Sampson Coumbs fence-viewers. 

It was not left to the big spending 
days of the early years of the 20th 
century to find people backward in 
paying taxes. Even in 1860, when 
the taxes were low, there were rate 
payers who were behindhand; so 
much so that a resolution was pass 
ed that the Reeve consult Mr Deacon 
of Perth regarding the power of the 
Council to collect taxes of 1861, and 
its power to seize moveable property 
for the same. 

On March 28th, Mr Morgan resign 
ed the Clerkship as he was soon to 
leave the village. The resignation 
was accepted; and on the llth 
April, on motion of Messrs McDougall 
and Mackay, Henry Bellerby was 
chosen Clerk at $30 a year, with the 
perquisites of the position of Issuer 
of Licenses; this being the first year 
when it was noted that Joseph Gra- 
velle was applicant for a tavern 
license: then probably commencing 



the career of the well-known "Ot 
tawa House." 

There was indication that the town, 
long little but a single street, was be 
ginning to widen out, as William 
Halpenny asked that James street be 

opened up. 

But altogether this seemed to be 

an uneventful year in municipal his 
tory. There was but one resolution 
of any import that dealing with 
what was still apparently the un 
settled matter of the County Town. 
The resolution was by Messrs Mc- 
Dougall and Mackay, that the draft 
of a petition drawn by a committee 
named at a public meeting of the 
ratepayers cf the municipality, and 
proposed to be sent to the three 
branches of the Legislature, setting 
forth the claims cf Renfrew to be 
the County Town, be adopted by this 
Council and be signed by the officials 
and sealed. 

In July a resolution was carried to 
press the hotel-keepers for their 
fees; and from that to the end of the 
year, Council apparently did nothing 
but pay some accounts. 

In 1S64, John Smith, Jas. Airth, 
Arch. Thomson, J. L. McDougall and 
John McAndrew were the chosen 
Councillors; and on motion cf 
Messrs Airth and Thomson, Mr 
Smith was once again seated in the 
Reeve s chair. This year there was 
evidently no trouble in selecting the 
town officials who were Henry 
Bellerby, town clerk at $30 and is 
suer of licenses at $10; H. Airth, 
Sr., treasurer, at $10; Jas. Bromley 
and Jas. Watt, auditors, at $4 each; 
R. Drysdale, assessor, at $16; W. N. 
Paichney, collector, at $16; Thos. 
Flaunt, pound-keeper, and David 
Airth and William Logan, fence- 

A communication to Council early 
in the year indicated that the Pem 
broke Observer had come into ex 
istence, and was looking for a share 
of the Renfrew Council s business; 
which previously had found its way 

to Perth, Carleton Place and Al 
monte publications. 

From petitions received it was 
evident that though a considerable 
amount of plank walk had been con 
structed on the main street, the 
portions of walk proposed to the 
north of the river and to the south 
of the creek, had not so far been 

A resolution at the meeting of 
March 18th gave evidence that the 
world was moving along, and that 
Renfrew was anxious to get in 
touch with the forward movement, 
This resolution was by Messrs Mc 
Dougall and McAndrew that Council 
considering that telegraph communi 
cation would be a great boon to the 
village, engaged itself to afford 
every facility in its power to assist 
the Telegraph Company in its in 
tention to lay down their wires to 

A memorial was also prepared for 
presentation to the Governor-Gener- 
al-in-Council praying for a grant of 
public money for the purpose of im 
proving the Opeongo Road. The re 
solution was moved by Messrs 
Airth and Thompson, who named J. 
L. McDougall, John McAndrew, and 
the town clerk as a committee to 
prepare the memorial. 

An echo of the troubles in con 
nection with the selection of the 
county town was a resolution by 
Messrs McDougall and Airth, that a 
demand be made on R. R. Smith for 
the amount of money he received 
from the Corporation to enable him 
to prosecute a suit in chancery in 
reference to the county buildings 
at Pembroke. 

The Streets committee Smith, 
Airth and McAndrew were author 
ized to expend 100 on necessary 
repairs of streets and roads. 

On August 27t.h some 63 rate 
payers petitioned for the formation 
of a Fire Company. The Reeve was 
authorized to ascertain the cost and 
best means of obtaining a fire engine 



and appliances. At the next meet 
ing, the Reeve reported that Perry 
of Montreal estimated the cost of 
an engine and appliances at 250; 
and the Clerk was thereupon ordered 
to communicate to the petitioners 
that as it would require an addition 
al rate of not less than one-half the 
usual rate to purchase the fire-fight 
ing equipment, the Council did not 
feel justified in going on. 

In November, W. N. Faichney was 
appointed enforcer of by-laws, "par 
ticularly those affecting the village 
revenues," at a fair remuneration." 

The citizens nominated for Coun 
cillors in 1865 were Felix Devine, 
John Smith, Samuel Francis, James 
Airth, John McAndrew, Arch. 
Thompson, J. L. McDcugall, John 
McRae and Wm. Mackay. It was a 
list of the strong men of the village: 
and the voters must have had con 
siderable trouble in deciding how 
to cast their votes. The poll was 
open for two days and closed at 
4 p.m. of the second day, when 
Messrs Smith, Airth, Francis, Mc- 
Dougall ard Devine were elected. 
Messrs McDougall and Devine nom 
inated John Smith for Reeve; but 
Messrs Smith and Airth nominated 
Mr McDougall for the chair; and the 
amendment was carried by Mr 
Francis vote. The officials chosen 
for the year were: auditors, W. Hal- 
penny and John Burns; assessor, J. 
Burns; collector, W. N. Faichney; 
pound-keeper, Thos. Flaunt; fence- 
viewers, Wm. Logan and D. Airth; 
chief constable, W. N. Faichney; 
clerk and issuer of licenses, Henry 

The l?quor question provided the 
Council with something of a problem 
e-rly in the year; though as far as 
can be gathered, the question was 
chiefly a monetary one. Mr D?vine 
was moved to the chair, and a ses 
sion held with closed doors, and a 
resolve was come to, to return a 
portion cf the fees charged. 

In May, the Court of Revision took 
an attitude which in these days 
would be considered somewhat be 
yond its limit of power. After exam 
ining the roll, a resolution was pass 
ed that the entire real property be 
reduced at the rate of 18 per cent. 
And apparently there was no one 
to question the legality of the Court 
doing anything but consider the 
actual appeals before it: and so far 
as at present appears, the property 
valuation was reduced in that pro 

Even in those days v:hcn the 
spending of the Council was small 
and the tax ra<te low, there were 
those who found it difficult to pay 
their taxes. Mr Faichney reported 
to Council that $379.42 of the taxe; 
of 1864 were still unpaid, and rsked 
fcr instructions. The Clerk was in 
structed to get an opinion from Mr 
J. D. McDonald as to the proper 
course to adopt to enforce payment. 

William McKay, miller, r.sked 
Council s assistance in locating de 
predators who had robbed him and 
maliciously destroyed his prope: ty 
on different occasions; but for some 
reason Council did net seem inclined 
to take any special action. 

Altogether it will be seen that 
1865 was not a particularly eventful 
year in municipal undertakings; but 
its close was marked by one in 
novation. The minutes record for 
the first time so far as memory 
carries us a resolution of thanks to 
the presiding officer: which was 
tendered to Reeve McDougall on mo 
tion cf Councillors Smith and De- 

In 1866, there was another long 
list of nominees for Council: John 
Smith, Jas. Airth, John McAndrew, 
Felix Devine, Wm. Mackay, John 
McRae, David Airth, John O Harro, 
Arch. Thompson, John Mills, P. 
Don gall, John Mclmje? and Jas. 
Gibbons. How many remained in 
the race, the records .lo not say; but 



Smith, Jas. Airth, Devh-e, McAndrew 
and McRae were the ciioeen: and oa 
their assembling, on resolution of 
Messrs Smith and M ^Andrew, Fe.ix 
Devine became Reeve for 1866. 

The officers chosen were: auditor 1 . 
"Wm. Halpenny and Thos. Freer, (at 
$3 each); R. Drysdale, assessor, at 
$20; W. N. Faichney, collector, at 
$20; pound-keeper, John Smith (inn 
keeper) ; fence-viewers, James Gib 
bons and S. O Gorman; J. Burns, 
treasurer, at $20. And for the first 
time, a portion of the Grammar 
School Board was appointed by the 
Council: Messrs P. Dougall, Felix 
Devine and John Burns being chos 

Early in the year, the streets com 
mittee was granted 25 for the re 
pair of bridges; but later on the 
limit was withdrawn. 

In April, a deputation from the 
Board of School Trustees came to 
Council to ask for school accommo 
dation to meet the requirements of 
the Chief Superintendent of Educa 
tion: and on motion of Messrs Smith 
and McRae, it was decided to fit up 
the Town Hall suitably, both flats, re 
moving the outside stairway to the 
upper hall, and building an inside 
stairway: as exists to this year of 

In May Council voted $200 to be 
returned to J. L. McDougall and 
other citizens who had subscribed 
that amount as a bonus to induce 
the Montreal Telegraph Company to 
bring their line into Renfrew; the 
vote of money being accompanied 
by the thanks of the Council for the 
public service they had rendered. 
But whether it was found that this 
grant was illegal, or whether the 
money was returned to the subscrib 
ers in some other way, or whether 
they refused to accept re-imburse- 
ment, the records do not make 
clear, beyond this that in December 
a motion was passed rescinding the 
$200 grant. 

So far as the minutes reveal, i 

was also pretty much a year of 
"marking time" in municipal de 
velopment. And the year closed in 
a cloud: for when the Council as 
sembled on December 24th it was 
moved by Messrs Smith and Airth, 
that "in consequence of the severe 
bereavement under which the family 
of John McRae, (a member of this 
Council) are now suffering owing to 
the lamented death of his eldest son, 
Council do not enter on business at 
this session, but expression of the 
deepest sympathy be transmitted to 
the family." 

In 1867, there was a change in the 
proceedings at the annual nomina 
tion meeting. For the first time the 
Reeve was chosen by voice of the 
people, instead of being selected by 
his fellow Councillors. And Ren 
frew s frst Reeve under this method 
was elected by acclamation; John 
Lorn McDougall being chosen on 
nomination of David Airth and John 
Smith. For Councillors, John Smith. 
James Ward, James Aiith, Jchn Mc 
Andrew, David Airth and Peter 
Dougall were nominated. The first 
four weie chosen. Patnck Eevine 
and William Halpenny \veie appoint 
ed auditors at $3 each; John L. Mc 
Dougall, grammar school trustee; 
Robert Drysdale as assessor at $20; 
W. N. Faichney as collector at $20; 
Jas. Gibbcns and Sinon O Go:man 
as fence-viewers; Jchn Smith, hotel- 
keeper, as pound-keeper; and W. N. 
Faichney as inspector of taverns. 

At the Court of Revision in May 
the Councillors took an active inter 
est in the assessment, rating many 
a prominent citizen of that date an 
extra $100 on personal property. A 
motion to replace the names of J. 
ami C. Mair with those of Malcolm 
Mclntyie, Jr., end P. S. Stewart, 
with an assessment of $700 0:1 real 
propei ty end $400 on personal p.o- 
perty, prcbably signalizes the entry 
into active business life here of Mr 
P. S. Stewart, who is in 1 909 our 
iiHMchrnt of longe-.t strnding. 



In May, also, the Council appoint 
ed a new Pound-keeper: Mr John 
Smith of the hotel having declined to 
accept the office "on account of be 
ing in that office last year." Joseph 
Gravelle was appointed as his suc 

Application having been made fcr 
three tavern licenses, Messrs Ward 
and McAndrew moved that as two 
had been granted, and that two was 
all that could be legally granted, the 
third applicant be notified that his 
application was refused. 

In September, John Burns was 
paid $1.50 for a coffin in which to 
bury an Indian boy who wa,s d: own 
ed in Smith s Creek: which to d the 
tale of residents of a type not ex 
istent here now for many years, as 
also of cheaper funeral methods 
than the plainest of to-day. 

For 1868, William Halpenny was 
chosen Reeve by acclamation; and 
the Councillors elected were: John 
Smith, James Ward, Samusl Francis 
and David Aiith. The officials 
chosen were Henry Bellerby, clerk, 
at $40; James Bromley and Thcs. 
N. M c.Williams, auditors, $3 each; 
Felix Devine, Grammar school trus 
tee; Joseph Gravelle, assessor, $20; 
W. N. Faichney, coi:ector, $20; 
Sampson Coumbs and John Smith, 
inn-keeper, fence-viewers; John 
Scott, pound-keeper. 

By-law No. 90 ordered a special 
census of the village, and Mr John 
Burns was chosen as enumerator. 

Mr Francis having declined to ac 
cept the position of Councillor, Mi- 
Peter Dougall was chosen by accla 
mation in his stead, and took his 
place at the February meeting. At 
this meeting en Feb. 10th, the 
special census report of Mr Burns 
showed the population of the village 
to be 844 eouls. Mr Gravelle having 
refused to accept the assessorship, 
Mr Burns was appointed to his post 
at a salary of $25. Tavern and shop 
licenses were fixed at $50 each: and 
three licenses were now granted. 

On May 2nd, a petition was pre 
sented from a meeting of ratepayers 
asking for a grant towards celebrat 
ing the Queen s Birthday : and 
Council voted $25 to Jas. Watt, 
chairman of the demonstration com 

On June 1st, Renfrew s first fire 
brigade may be said to have found 
birth: for the Reeve and Messrs 
Dougall and Ward were instructed 
to procure for the corporation a few 
hooks and ladders, of suitable 
strength to be considered desirable; 
and that the same be in charge of 
Mr Ward, and not to be allowed 
from his place unless in case of fire 
or other unexpected calamity. This 
was followed in September by the 
appointment of a committee to again 
enquire into the practicability of 
purchasing a fire engine: and at the 
same meeting a committee was ap 
pointed to draw up speci i cations for 
a lock-up. Evidently, Renfrew was 
once again feeling the pangs of 
growth. The lock-up project pro 
ceeded steadily: and apparently the 
contract for its erection was award 
ed to Alex. Munro: though the 
amount is not stated. The ladders 
were also procured, for at a meeting 
eraly in January, a resolution pro 
vided for thedr painting. 

The eleventh annual nomination of 
the village of Renfrew was hold on 
the 21st Dec., 1868, and this time 
there was the first contest for the 
Rceveship under popular vote. Mal- 
cclm Mclntyre r.nd John Mclnris 
rominrted Felix Eevine for that of 
fice; while David Airth and Henry 
Airth nominated Wm. Halpenny for 
re-election. The field for four coun 
cillors comprised George Biggar, P. 
Kelly, P. Dougall, John Smith, James 
Ward, David Airth and John Mc- 
Rae. The vote for the Reeveship 
stood. 41 for Halpenny, 26 for De- 
vine; and John McRae was defeated 
fcr the Councillorship, and Biggar 
and Kelly declared not qualified by 
the Clerk. We imagine the contest 



was not on personal grounds, but 
that there were some "locality" is 
sues at stake. 

John McAndrew and J. H. Walford 
were appointed auditors, the munifi 
cent salary of $3 each still being 
the rule; Wm. Halpenny was chos 
en grammar school trustee; John 
Smith and Henry Buffam were ap 
pointed pound-masters; William 
Airth as assessor at $25; Henry Bel- 
lerby (Clerk) Inspector of Taverns; 
Wm. Airth and Donald Stewart, 

A petition was prepared for pre 
sentation to the County Council 
asking for a grant towards the lock 
up house, and when Mr Halpenny 
came back he was enabled to an 
nounce that a grant of $200 had teen 
made for that purpose. The Reeve 
with Mr Smith and Mr Airth were 
appointed a committee to superin 
tend the erection of the lock-up. 

Donald Stewart (presumably the 
blacksmith) of the firm of Knight & 
Stewart, was this year chosen as 
street improvement inspector. 

In August, the streets committee 
(Ward, Dougall and Halpenny) were 
authorized on motion of Messrs 
Smith and Smith, to contract for the 
erection of a bridge across the 
Bonnechere river; the bridge to be 
of a substantial kind; the committee 
at the same time being admonished 
"bo use all the economy they pos 
sibly can." The admonition did its 
work; for the committee reported 
that they would repair the old bridge 
that year, and contract for the erec 
tion of a new one as early as pos 
sible the ensuing summer. 

In December three tenders were 
received for the construction of the 
bridge. W. N. Faichney s bid of 
$1,400 was $163 lower than the high- 
set, and he was awarded the con 
tract. The lock-up committee re 
ported that they had paid $364.39 on 
the building: and that there was still 
owing $153.84 for the iron doors, $31 
for freight on doors and shingles, 

and $23.85 for sundry articles used 
in the building. 

A resolution of thanks was passed 
to J. L. McDougall for his liberal 
gift of lumber for the drain on the 
west side of the municipality. 

The tax rate of the year was l%c. 
on the dollar. 

For 1870, William Halpenny was 
re-elected as Reeve without opposi 
tion. For Councillors, seven such 
good men were nominated that ap 
parently the electors did net care 
who was chosen. The votes ran, S. 
Francis, 11; J. Mclnnis, 11; John 
Smith, 10; Wm. Mackay, 10; P. 
Dougall, 7; John O Hara, 4; Jas. 
Ward, 3; the last three being defeat 
ed. But Messrs Mclnnis and Mac 
kay declined to serve, and a bye- 
election was held. For the two 
vacancies three nominations were 
made: P. S. Stewart, John McRae 
and Wm. Banner-man. Again only a 
small vote was cast: Mr Stewart re 
ceiving 11; Mr McRae 8; and Mr 
Bannerman 3. Thus Messrs Stewart 
and McRae were elected. Mr Stew 
art sat for a meeting or two, but in 
April resigned, for, be. ng a?se sed 
as a joint owner, some doubt arose 
in his mind of h s qualification, 
technically, and he decided that he 
would not remain in what might 
be an equivocal position. On 
the 22nd of April, Felix Devine 
was elected by acclamation in 
his stead. But Mr Devine also 
declined to act, and on the 14th of 
May another election was hald, when 
James Ward was elected by acclam 

J. L. McDougall was appointed 
grammar school trustee; J. H. Wal 
ford and P. Devine, auditors, t ao 
salary still remaining the munificent 
i 2 each; Dav id AirtU assessor at 
$25; Henry Bellerby, 0,3 inspector of 
licenses; John Scott and Donald 
Stewart as fence-viewers; Patrick 
Ryan as pound-master. 

Jas. Allan was appointed inspector 
of the building of the new bridge 



across the Bonnechere, at a salary of 

In February, Messrs Smith and Mc- 
Rae fathered the town s first tran 
sient traders by-law, which placed a 
tax of not more than $200, or less 
than $50. 

For the burial of the late Mr Colt, 
John Scott was voted $3. 

In September, Clerk Bellerby was 
appointed collector of the year s tax 
es at a salary of $25. 

In November, a by-law was passed 
opening up Munro street. 

At the Court of Revision on May 
17th, the Court instructed Clerk 
Bellerby to reduce the assessment in 
every case by 15 per cent., except in 
those cases where such reduction 
would deprive the ratepayers of 
their votes. And at the same meet 
ing, but in council assembled, a bill 
of $11.50 was paid to Mrs Wright for 
meals of 36 men employed in saving 
the new bridge across the Bonne 
chere from a spring freshet. 

In December the Council accepted 
the rebuilt Bonnechere bridge from 
Mr Faichney at $1,350, allowing him 
also $150 for the pier and booms. 
And at this meeting on the 9th it was 
arranged that the Clerk, Treasurer 
and Assessor be a committee to 
make arrangements with regard to a 
railway meeting to be held in the 
village on the 28th. 

And on the 22nd a by-law to regu 
late the sale and measurement of 
cord wood and tanbark was put 
through; with John Mills as in 

A rather interesting situation de 
veloped in 1871. Not a single rate 
payer except the Councillors, made 
his appearance at the annual nomin 
ation meeting. The Councillors de 
cided that if the ratepayers had not 
interest enough in the matter to 
turn out to nominate, they would not 
do so. And so there were no nomin 
ations and no election. Later on, the 
Council found that when such a sit 
uation developed, the old Council 

had the right to appoint their succes 
sors, or consider that the people 
were satisfied with them and re-ap 
point themselves. And that is near 
ly what they did. But not all in 
one night. On the llth January, Mr 
Smith gave notice that at the next 
meeting he would introduce a by-law 
to appoint a Reeve and Councillors 
for the municipality, and on the 16th 
that by-law was introduced. It nam 
ed Mr Ward as Reeve, and Messrs 
Samuel Francis, William Halpenny, 
Wm. Airth and John Smith as Coun 
cillors. This Council, after taking 
the oath of office, chose J. H. Wai- 
ford and Patrick Devine again as 
auditors; Joseph Gravelle as gram 
mar school trustee; and for the first 
time, two assessors David Airth 
and Henry Bellerby; Henry Bellerby 
as collector; Joseph Flaunt as 
poundkeeper; John Scott and Donald 
Stewart as fence-viewers; H. Beller 
by as inspector of licenses; and 
Patrick Kelly as inspector of cord- 
wood and barkwood. 

In April, the Clerk was instructed 
to get a draft of a by-law to enable 
the corporation to vote money to 
wards the projected railway from 
Sand Point to the village of Renfrew, 
and also to telegraph Hon. Sir Fran 
cis Hincks, Hon. Jas. Skead and 
others to notify them of the meeting 
to be held at Sand Point on the llth 
on matters connected with the Can 
ada Central Railway. At the same 
meeting, John Scott was appointed 
iStreet surveyor at a salary of $10 a 
year, with authority to have remov 
ed all wood, obstructions or nuisan 
ces, of every kind from the streets, 
and also to cause to be removed all 
fences enclosing streets, with power 
to obtain assistance to effect the 
same. But at the very next meet 
ing, the appointment was annulled, 
and a resolution passed to obtain the 
opinion of H. H. Loucks, of Pem 
broke, as to the right of the Council 
to assume and open streets. The 
opening of Munro street at the Ex- 



chang^ Hotel, seemed to be particul 
arly in dispute, and was the cause 
of debate and the getting of legal 
opinions at several meetings. 

On July 4th, Mr Smith introduced 
a by-law to enable the municipality 
to issue debentures to the amount of 
$20,000 to purchase thait amount of 
stock in the Canada Central Rail 
way. The by-law received two read 
ings that night. 

The next meeting night (the 29th 
July), a by-law was passed to do 
away with statute labor, and insti 
tute instead a road tax of $2 on each 
person on the assessment roll; the 
railway stock by-law had its third 
reading; Mr Allan, P.L.S., was in 
structed to stake out the deviated 
road on the south side of Smith s 
creek; the establishment of The 
Mercury the preceding month was 
noted in a resolution ordering pay 
ment to its proprietor for an adver 
tisement of the railway by-law; and 
a by-law was passed for the opening 
of Munro street. 

At the November meeting, Council 
passed a resolution approving of the 
plan of village lots laid out by Xavier 
Flaunt, Esq., and in consideration of 
Mr Haunt s liberality in giving lands 
for the right-of-way, as well as site 
for the railway station, the Council 
also sent a resolution to the railway 
authorities urging them to put the 
station at whatever spot Mr Flaunt 

At the December meeting a by-law 
to enable the Council to dispose of 
certain roads and streets within the 
municipality, was carried on motion 
of Messrs Airth and Smith; but at 
the next meeting, (Dec. 29th), a by 
law amending this by-law was pass 
ed; and on Jan. 12th, the dying Coun 
cil passed a resolution of apprecia 
tion of the unwearied attention of 
Mr Ward to the duties of Reeve. 

Up to this point the minu es of 
the Village of Renfrew had contain 
ed not only report of the doings of 
the Council itself, but also the pro 

ceedings of the annual nomination. 
But from this point possibly be 
cause of the fact that Renfrew had 
again a newspaper the minutes do 
not go into particulars of the nomin 
ation proceedings. However the 
Council of 1872 comprised W. N. 
Faichney, Reeve; and John Smith, 
James Ward, Peter Dougall and 
James Oarswell as Councillors. Mr 
J. L. McDougall was first chosen 
Reeve, but he declined the office, as 
had done Mr Ward, the Reeve of 
1871, who was however willing to go 
back into Council. On Mr McDoug- 
all s resignation, Mr Faichney, who 
had been a defeated candidate, for 
Council, but who came next to the 
elected, was chosen as Reeve; three 
others were nominated but de 
clined to be candidates. Patrick 
Devine and J. H. Walford again 
were chosen as auditors; George 
Eady, grammar school trustee; 
Henry Bellerby, collector; Joseph 
^ravehe, pound-keeper; Joseph 

Mayhew and Sinon O Gorman, fence- 
viewers; Henry Bpilerby, inspector 
ci licenses; and Jas. H. Walford, 

At the first meeting of the Coun 
cil, Renfrew employed its first town 
or village solicitor. Tne resolution 
was by Messrs Smith and Ward, and 
set forth that while the Councillors 
were doing all in their power to ad 
vance the town s interests, they had 
been put to a great deal of trouble 
and unnecessary expense by parties 
who appear to be more willing to 
gratify their own private xeelings 
than by taking an interest in the 
welfare of the place, taking every op 
portunity to annoy the Council and 
to retard and impede its progress; 
and as it was not to be supposed 
that the Councillors were thoroughly 
posted in municipal law: therefore 
to guard against future trouble, that 
John D. McDonald be retained to 
give the Council or School Board ad 
vice; verbal opinions free; written 
opinions at the usual rate. 



Mr Walford having declined to ac 
cept the office of Treasurer, Mr Geo. 
Eady was appointed; and thus be 
gan his long career as custodian of 
Renfrew s municipal moneys. Mr 
Gravelle naving resigned the posi 
tion of grammar school trustee, Mr 
James Ward was appointed in his 
place, and then commenced his long 
career as one of the leaders in Ren 
frew s educational matters. And at 
the same meeting, Patrick Ryan was 
appointed assessor. 

In March, on motion of Messrs 
Dougall and Smith, the Council de 
clined to make a requested reduction 
in the price of liquor licenses, and 
also notified the licensees that the 
Council did intend to use every pos 
sible means to prevent shop-keepers 
selling liquor by the glass. The sum 
of $800 wa,s voted for the construc 
tion of a sidewalk on the east side 
of Main street, beginning at the 
south corner of Plaunt s hotel. Mr 
Ryan having declined to accept the 
assessorship, Mr Bellerby wa.s ap 

In May, deeds were granted to 
Messrs Mclntyre & Carswell and 
Jas. Carswell for road allowances; 
they giving land instead for tne Ad- 
maiston or Opeongo roadway from 
the gully bridge; and also a deed to 
John Brousseau if he would give 
land to widen Horton street past his 
plS Ce as far as Mr Eellerby s. 

In June a new agreement was en 
tered into with the Canada Central 
Railway Company tnat the Com 
pany though behind time should get 
the $20,000 debentures in exchange 
for stock if the cars were running 
into the village by the 1st of Septem 
ber. But even this did not suffice to 
bring the railway: and so in Septem 
ber a by-law was introduced to raise 
$10,000 more to assist the railway 
company in completing the railway 
into Renfrew. 

At a meeting on Oct. 17th, it was 
moved by Mr Ward, seconded by Mr 
Carswell, and carried that a plank- 

walk be constructed from Raglan 
street to connect with Railway 
street, and along Railway street 
to the railway station grounds, 
procuring from Mr Flaunt a writing, 
giving the corporation control of a 
continuation of Railway street 
through to Raglan street (or Main 
street) for five years at least, and so 
long after until the ground so occu 
pied be or is required for market 
buildings, and in the event of market 
buildings being erected on any other 
part of this corporation, then the 
said lands so occupied to go back to 
the said Mr Flaunt, the municipality 
to have the liberty to move any side 
walks or other property they may 
have upon it at the time. 

Upon the by-law to buy $10,000 ex 
tra of railway stock, 40 ratepayers 
voted "yea" and not a single rate 
payer voted "nay:" so on Oct. 21st 
the Council gave the by-law its third 
reading. . 

And with the railway coming, 
there was prospect of Renfrew grow 
ing, and the Council offered to fur 
nish the plank if the parties inter 
ested would build sidewalks laterally 
east and west, and across Smith s 

For 1873 the Council comprised 
John L. McDougall, reeve; Jas. Cars- 
well, John Smith, Alex. Barnet and 
Samuel McDougall, councillors. Aud 
itors appointed were James Bromley 
and Peter Stewart; grammar school 
trustee, John D. McDonald; town 
clerk, Henry Bellerby, $60; collector, 
Henry Bellerby, $60; fence-viewers, 
S. O Gorman and Joseph Mayhew; 
inspector of licenses, Henry Bellerby, 

On January 31st. the Council plac 
ed on record a mournful paragraph 
in the village history, when there 
was placed on the minute book re 
solutions of condolence to the wid 
ows of James McAdam and James 
Tierney, who lost their lives in a 
fire in what is now the Carswell 
store, and the buildings which then 



stood immediately north, (where the 
buildings of Mayor Gravelle stand in 

At a February meeting, Mr Beller- 
by had the duties of assessor added 
to his list, and at a remuneration of 
$50; Alfred Flaunt was appointed 
pound-keeper; and John D. McDon 
ald was again retained as village 
solicitor with a fee of $30. 

The Corporation fire ladders pur 
chased a few years before, had evi 
dently acquired the habit of privately 
owned ladders of wandering: for 
Mr Carney was requested to gather 
them up, and put them at Ward s 
building under padlock. But fire pro 
tection was not now to end with lad 
ders; resolutions were passed auth 
orizing Councillor Smith to bargain 
for the purchase of a fire engine 
from John Lee, of Perth, and voting 
him $300 for the purchase and freight 
on the machine. Mr Smith succeed 
ed in his negotiations, and on March 
31st, Messrs Carswell and Barnet 
moved for the organization of Ren 
frew s pioneer Fire Company, ap 
pointing Henry Leggett as captain, 
with power to select his men. and 
take charge of the engine. 

At me meeting on April 26th, Jas. 
Carney was appointed street over 
seer, and instructed to build a 6-ft. 
sidewalk on Main street from Munro 
street northwards to the gully at 
Mrs McDougall s residence. 

In May, the newly organized fire 
company asked the Council for uni 
forms, but Council regretted that ow 
ing to the state of the village finan 
ces, and the necessity of promoting 
tanks to make the engine available, 
that they would have to refuse the 

There was growth apparent in the 
village then, and as a consequence 
assessment was growing and taxa- 
ation was growing too. Then, as al 
ways, there followed trouble. There 
was an unusual number of appeals 
against the assessment roll: William 
Halpenny alone filing a list of OS ap 

peals. We judge from the recorded 
action of the Court, that Mr Hal- 
penny had been insisting on the as 
sessment of his fellow merchants for 
personal property; for a large num 
ber of them had personal property 
added to their assessed list by the 
Court; who had to hold three meet 
ings to clean up the slate of appeals. 

And yet the town wanted to grow 
more; for Messrs Smith, and S. Mc- 
Dougall proposed a motion which was 
carried, that the Clerk insert an ad 
vertisement in The Mercury that the 
Council would grant freedom from 
taxes for five or ten years, to those 
who would make improvements 
which would be the means of employ 
ing workmen or laborers to settle 
within the municipality. 

In September, Mr Bellerby asked 
to be relieved of his duties as col 
lector, owing to declining health. In 
September, James Carney was ap 
pointed to the post. 

In November, Messrs Wm. Jamie- 
son, Henry Airth, Robt. McLaren and 
Peter Dalglish. appeared before the 
Council to ask for a grant for the 
erection of buildings on the Society s 
newly acquired property at the south 
of the town. Council agreed to give 
$250 if the Society expended $1,500 
in buildings before Nov. 1st, 1874, 
and that the Exhibition of 1874 be 
held on the new grounds. 

For 1874, the Council chosen com 
prised John Smith as Reeve, and 
Malcolm Mclntyre, James Stewart, 
Felix Devine and Andrew J. Mcln 
tyre as councillors. They chose as 
officials: auditors, James Bromley 
and P. S. Stewart; assessor, Robert 
Airth; clerk and inspector of li 
censes, Henry Bellerby; fence-view 
ers, Joseph Flaunt and John R. 
Stewart; pound-keeper, Patrick Mac- 
donnell; street overseer, James Cair- 
ney. There were before the Council 
in that year seven applications for 
tavern licenses and seven for shop 

In April, the first attempt was 



made to provide the fire company 
with a uniform: this instalment be 
ing sixty pairs of pants. And this 
year, the people were evidently turn 
ing somewhat from the grind of life 
to amusement: for by-laws were 
passed licensing Tierney s ihall for 
the holding of entertainments, and 
for placing a tax on billiard tables, 
pigeon holes and ball alleys and 
other such games in houses of pub 
lic entertainment or places of resort. 
Mr Bellerby asking to be relieved of 
the duty of inspector of licenses, Mr 
Eady was appointed in his place. In 
August, the Council received a de 
mand from the School Board for the 
sum of $5,000, with which to erect a 
High School and Public School build 
ing, (which stands in 1909 as the 
Model School.) 

In October, death having claimed 
Mr Bellerby, Council recorded by 
resolution their regret at the demise 
of one of "such punctual habits, zeal 
and efficiency," and appointing Mr 
Robert Drysdale to the vacant place. 
At the same meeting, James Cairney 
was chcsen as collector of taxes. 

Altogether 1874 seems to have 
been a somewhat uneventful year, in 
a sense of municipal development; 
but in December there was a flutter 
of excitement visible: when a peti 
tion was prepared for the Legisla 
ture asking that body not to pass 
any act empowering the County 
Council to transfer the bonus of 
$100,000 voted by Renfrew County to 
aid the Kingston & Pembroke Rail 
way to the Canada Central Railway 
without the matter being first sub 
mitted to the vote of the qualified 
ratepayers of the County; and a re 
solution was passed offering a re 
ward of $200 for information which 
would lead to the conviction of the 
parties who assisted Robert I. 
Jordan, alias Frank R. Irwin, a 
prisoner committed for trial for 
felony, to escape from Renfrew gaol, 
and under custody on a charge of 
shooting with intent to kill James 

Cairney, a constable; and $200 mor 
for the apprehension of Jordan. 

For 1875, the Council comprised 
John Smith, Reeve; and F. Devine, 
Malcolm B. Mclntyre, Jas. Stewart 
and A. J. Mclntyre. The officers 
they appointed were James Brom 
ley and P. S. Stewart, auditors; 
Robert Drysdale, assessor; fence- 
viewers, J. R. Stewart and Joseph 
Plaunt; pound-keepers, Patrick Mc 
Donnell and John C. Wright; Robert 
Drysdale, clerk; Geo. Eady, Jr., as 
inspector of taverns. 

Among the first acts of the Coun 
cil was that of notifying all hotel- 
keepers that they would hereafter 
allow no pigeon hole, bagatelle or 
billiard tables in places where 
liquors were sold; and fixing the 
rates on such tables at $40 ror the 
first, and $20 for each subsequent 
table. Thirty thousand feet of 2- 
inch plank was ordered for side 
walks: the gradual widening of the 
town being signalized by Argyle 
street getting a walk. A hint of the 
prices in those days may be noted 
in the fact that S. McDougall, the 
lowest tenderer, supplied the plank 
at $8.50 per 1,000 ft., and J. M. Mc 
Neil was accorded the contract for 
laying the walks at 75c. per rod, 
the town supplying the nails; 
Andrew Frood being appointed 
street inspector at $1.50 per day. In 
July, there was a ruffle on the silr- 
face when the Reeve resigned from 
the Streets Committee because he 
had not been requested to attend its 
meetings. Then there had been a 
small-pox case to care for, with its 
consequent expense; and when the 
Agricultural Society asked for a 
grant, the response was that owing 
to the low state of the finances of 
the municipality, it was utterly im 
possible for the Council to grant it 
however willing they might be. But 
despite this condition of finances, 
there was evidence of some growth 
in the town, for Mr Devine intro 
duced a by-law for dividing the 



municipality into two polling divi 
sions: and it was carried; making 
on the whole the most noteworthy 
event of the year. 

For 1876, the Council was com 
posed of John Smith, reeve; and 
Felix Devine, M. B. Mclntyre, Henry 
Airth and Jas. Ward, councillors. 
They once again chose Jas. Bromley 
and P. S. Stewart as auditors. Geo. 
Eady was chosen High School trus 
tee; J. R. Stewart, Jos. Flaunt and 
Wm. Airth as fence-viewers; James 
i^airney as street inspector; Mackie 
Barr and Jos. Flaunt as pound-keep 

The new Crooks License Act gave 
the Council some little bother; and 
a special committee was appointed 
to get further light from the Pro 
vincial Department and Dr. Dowling 
the Inspector under the new Act. 

In August, a petition was received 
from A. A. Wright, Wm. Airth and 
others, asking Council to appoint a 
constable, for the purpose of abating 
street nuisances. And Council at its 
next meeting responded by appoint 
ing James Cairney as High Constable 
at a salary of $365 a year. 

In September, Mr Devine gave 
not ce that at the next session he 
would introduce a by-law relating 
to the planting of snade trees alon^ 
the public streets of the village; 
but the minutes contain no recoid 
of the by-law s provisions; nor of 
any other business of importance 
that year. These were years of fin 
ancial stress in Canada, and Ren 
frew felt the pressure. 

In 1877, the Council elect was 
composed of John Smith, Reeve; 
John Brousseau, Robert Airth, 
James Ward and James Stewart, 
councillors. They chose for the 
several offices: High School Trustee, 
Peter Dougall: and auditors, James 
Bromley and P. S. Stewart, the 
salary this year being raised to $5 
each. In fact there seemed to be a 
more hopeful feel- ng dominant; for 

the salaries of the Clerk and Treas 
urer were also increased; Mr Drys- 
dale s as Clerk to $100, and Mr 
Eady s as Treasurer to $35. There 
were evidences also early in the 
year of the friction between the 
municipalities regarding the pay 
ment of the railway bonus, the 
Council instructing proceedings to 
be taken against the township of 
Admaston, and mildly censuring the 
Reeve for not having pressed to ihis 
end earlier. 

The Council having fixed the local 
fee for liquor licenses at $100, in 
stead of $60 as formerly, 150 rate 
payers petitioned that the fee be re 
duced. Council "split the differ 
ence" by reducing the amount to 
$80; but no refund to be made to 
anyone who had sold liquor without 
a license in 1876. 

And later on the dealers made 
further successful appeal for help, 
for the amount was reduced in June 
to $60; and a request made to the 
license inspector to prosecute the 
numerous unlicensed liquor vendors 
in town. 

Up to this time pedestrians had 
had to cross Smith s creek bridge 
in the horse path. But Councillor 
Brousseau knew the unpleasantness 
of this, and by his motion the street 
committee were instructed to con 
struct a walk for foot passengers at 
the side; for which the people of the 
present day have reason to remem 
ber him with thanks. But one ap 
parently backward step was made. 
The two polling subdivisions were 
again united into one. 

Reeve Smith was appointed to re 
present the village as holders of 
$30,000 of stock in the Canada Cen 
tral Railway, permitting him to vote 
at meetings of the directors. 

In September, after several 
months consideration, Council dis 
posed of part of the town line be 
tween Renfrew and Admaston to J. 
L. McDou^all for $60. 



In this year petition was p osent- 
ed asking for the construction of a 
sidewalk along Renfrew, Quarry anJl 
Young (now. Lynn) streets; showing 
that the village was now widening in 
an easterly direction. 

For 1878, the Council comprised 
John Smith, Reeve; and Alexander 
Barnet, Thomas Henderson, John 
Bannerman and Felix Devine, Coun 
cillors. They appointed James Brom 
ley and P. S. Stewart as auditors 
and Dr. O Brien r.s High School Trus 

Early in the year the License 
Commissioners of the Riding made 
certificate to the Council that the 
population had increased, that more 
tavern licenses were needed, and sug 
gesting a special census. Council 
thereupon with the authority of the 
Provincial department authorized the 
special census; but apparently the 
matter there dropped: and through 
out the course of the balance of the 
year routine proceedings alone ap 
peared to occupy the attention of the 

In 1879, John Smith was re-elected 
Reeve once again by acclamation; 
and Messrs Robert Airth, A. Barnet, 
Felix Devine and Dr. O Brien as 
councillors after a contest. They 
chose Jas. Craig and Patrick Devine 
as auditors; and Geo. Bady, Jr., as 
High School Trustee, and at their 
first meeting also appointed a dele 
gation comprising Reeve Smith, Dr. 
O Brien and A. A. Wright to go to 
Toronto to urge on the Provincial 
Government a subsidy to aid the 
K. & P. R. in extending their line of 
railway from the river Madawaska to 
Renfrew, and also to point out the 
advantages of Renfrew as a site for 
a Registry Office for South Renfrew; 
and in February, on motion of Messrs 
Barnet and O Brien, a petition was 
sent to the Ottawa Government ask 
ing that Renfrew be relieved of the 
bonds granted to the Canada Central 
Railway; this being the first shot in 

a movement which dragged along 
many years, and saw successful is 
sue nearly thirty years afterwards; 
the first committee to present it be 
ing Reeve Smith and Messrs Barnei, 
and Devine. 

In October, Sinon O Gorman was 
appointed Collector, a post he hold 
for many years: succeeding James 
Cairney, whose sureties Joseph 

Flaunt and Patrick Kelly were call 
ed upon by resolution of Council ri 
December to make good the de 
ficiency in the returns of Mr Cairney, 
who had departed from the to\\ u. 

For the first time we think, in th,> 
municipal history of the place, the 
Council of one year was re-elected in 
a body: so that John Smith, reeve, 
and Alex. Barnet, Felix Devine, Rc- 
bert Airth and Dr. O Brien, council 
lors, were once again in control of 
Renfrew s interests. They chose 
Peter Dougall for High School trus 
tee; and Jas. Craig and Patrick De- 
vine as auditors. 

In February, Reeve Smith (who 
was also this year Warden of the 
County), and A. A. Wright were ap 
pointed to go to Toronto to urge on 
the Provincial Government the grant 
ing of a subsidy to the Kingston & 
Pembroke Railway Company, to ex 
tend their line to a junction with 
the Canada Central Railway at Ren 
frew. Mr Smith reported upon re 
turn that while from their first re 
ception they were not very sanguine 
they stayed at work for a day or 
two, and came back satisfied that 
the prospects for Renfrew were 
very good. In response to a peti 
tion from one hundred ratepayers 
that the bondsmen of the delinquent 
collector be released from their guar 
antee, the Council deeply regretted 
that they could not comply with the 

In May, Samuel Francis ana 115 
others petitioned the council to 
give encouragemen . co M. L. Russell 
to enable him to utilize the water- 
power on the Boiinechere, for the 



purpose of offering inducements to 
capitalists to establish factories. Mr 
Russell himself asked for exemption 
from taxes for ten years on all im 
provements which he or others 
might make to the Bonnechere 

When Council met as a Court of 
Revision they found in addition to 
the ordinary appeals, one from the 
Reeve that the whole assessment of 
the town was too high, and as to the 
Court it seemed to be that a good 
deal of it was too low, the Court ap 
pointed Councillor Robert Airth and 
Clerk Drysdale as a commission to 
revise the whole roll. This they 
did, and with some slight changes 
their revision was accepted. 

In August, a by-law regulating the 
use of slaughter houses in the vil 
lage was adopted. 

The Trustees of the R. C. Separate 
School having complained that there 
were irregularities in the manner of 
levying school rates, Messrs Barnet 
and Eevine were appointed a com 
mittee to investigate and report. 

S. O Gorman was appointed collect 
or of taxes for the year. 

On the 27th day of December, 
1880, the Council for 1881 was nom 
inated and elected: for the sufficient 
number only were nominated. They 
were: Dr. D. O Brien as Reeve; and 
Robert Airth, Alex. Barnet, Felix 
Devine and Robert Carswell as 
Councillors. But an election was 
necessitated by the refusal of Mi 
Barnet to act, and A. A. Wright and 
P. S. Stewart were nominated for 
the vacancy. Mr Stewart was 
chosen. The auditors selected were 
Patrick Devine and Donald Stewart; 
and Reeve O Brien was re-appointed 
High School trustee. 

In April on motion of Messrs 
Airth and Devine, a long-standing 
grievance was apparently settled: by 
a vote of $352 to the Separate School 
Board for repayment of irregular 
levies of school taxes in the years 

1872, 1873 and 1875. But later tech 
nical difficulties were discovered in 
passing the necessary by-law and 
again the difficulty was unadjusted. 

In September, a legal opinion was 
received from J. D. McDonald, that 
the Council could sell its stock in 
the Canada Central Railway without 
a vote of the ratepayers, and at the 
same meeting a by-law was intro 
duced by Mr Airth to accept the offer 
of fifty cents on the dollar made by 
the Canadian Pacific Railway Com 
pany for the stock held by the vil 
lage in the C. C. Railway, and which 
had been reduced in value by an act 
of Parliament. The Bylaw was car 
ried at a subsequent meeting. 

At a special meeting on Dec. 19th 
Mr Devine introduced a by-law for 
the issue of debentures for the erec 
tion of a Roman Catholic Separate 

For 1882, P. S. Stewart was elect 
ed by acclamation as Reeve: and 
Robt. Airth, Adam Ingles, David 
Barr, James Carswell, Michael Fitz- 
maurice, Robert Carswell and Felix 
Devine were nominated as Council 
lors; Messrs Airth, Barr, Robt. Cars- 
well and Inglis being chosen; 
Messrs Jas. Carswell and F. Devine 
having asked the Clerk to notity the 
voters that they would not be candi 
dates. The new Council chose Jas. 
Craig and Patrick Devine as auditors 
and Geo. Eady, Jr., again as High 
School trustee. Clerk Drysdale s 
salary was increased to $120: and he 
was also appointed assessor at $50. 
Mr Eady s salary as treasurer was 
also increased to $50. 

Mr Inglis promoted a by-law for 
the promotion of public morals or 
abatement of nuisances; Mr Cars- 
well one to prevent obstruction and 
fouling of public streets; and Mr 
Airth one to assess the oenefit- 
ed properties for the construction of 
a sewer on Raglan and Main streets. 

In August, Messrs Gildersleeve and 
Kirkpatrick, representing the King- 



ston & Pembroke Railway, asked 
Council to submit a by-law to the 
ratepayers for a bonus of $6000. 
This they afterwards reduced to 
$3,000, thinking that this would be 
more apt to find favor with the vot 

D. F. Stewart was appointed us 
sessor for the Main street sewer: 
Renfrew s first ambitious move >f 
the kind: and which was to cost 

The $3,000 bonus to the K. &. P. 
duly carried and was passed by 
Council, which also exempted all 
K. & P. property for a term of 20 

The salary of Sinon O Gorman as 
collector was increased from $75 to 

The 26th annual nomination for Vil 
lage Council was held on December 
22,1882; and the members were chos 
en by acclamation: P. S. Stewart as 
Reeve; Felix Devine, James Allan, 
David Barr, and Robert Airth as 
Councillors. They met on Jan. !", 
1883, and re-appointed James Craig 
and Patrick Devine as auditors; and 
Peter Dougall as High School trus 
tee: and made a grant of $25 to the 
Mechanics Institute, the first time so 
far as noted that the corporation had 
granted aid to that institution. 

A return to Council by the collector 
showed that the amount of taxes to 
be paid ^y the people in 1882 was 

The year evidently passed along 
very quietly: not much of note being 
recorded in the minutes; beyond 
that Mr Frank Coules had the con 
tract for the digging of the Main 
street drains; and that a by-law for 
restraining the running at large of 
domestic animals was passed an 
other evidence that the ideas of 
civic improvement and better town 
conditions were taking root: though 
the usual pitiful appeals for the 
"poor cow" were heard. 

For 1884, P. S. Stewart was again 

chosen Reeve by acclamation: but 
for Council there was a contest and 
those chosen were Thomas Hender 
son, Michael French, Jas. Clark and 
David Barr; this year seeing intro 
duced to Council work two who 
were destined to afterwards rise to 
the highest gift in the ratepayers 

The Council chose as auditors once 
again Patrick Devine and Jas. Craig, 
and increased their remuneration to 
$7 each. Patrick Devine was chosen 
as High School trustee. 

At the first meeting of Council 
there was received a petition from the 
clergymen s wives and 298 other 
ladies praying for the restriction of 
the liquor traffic and for the appoint 
ment of a high constable. Also a 
petition from Rev. P. Rougier, Rev. 
R. Campbell, Rev. J. Robeson, Rev. 
H. Krupp and 139 others praying for 
the restriction of the liquor traffic 
and the appointment of a high con- 
constable. Council "limited" the 
number of licenses to six for hotels 
and five for shops. Whether this 
was a reduction or not from the num 
ber then existing there is nothing 
in the records to show, beyond the 
inference from the wor.l "limiting." 
And at a subsequent meeting Mr 
Clark gave notice of a by-law for the 
appointment of a chief constable; 
and later on, on motion of Messrs 
Barr and French, John Scott was ap 
pointed Renfrew s first cnief con 
stable at a salary of $450: the town 
also providing a $22.04 suit of uni 
form. At the same meeting Ren 
frew s first Board of Health was ap 
pointed; the Legislature having pro 
vided for such Boards by its Health 
Act of 1884. The new Board com 
prised Reeve Stewart, Clerk Drys- 
dale, and Dr. O Brien, J. H. Walford 
and A. A. Wright. 

The Renfrew Farmers Club, le- 
cently organized, was granted the 
50c. per meeting. 



A billiard and bagatelle license by 
law was also introduced, the lets be 
ing fixed at $25, $15, and $1 .) for 
first, second -and third table . 

In April, Mr R. A. Jamiescn ap 
peared as part of a deputation ask 
ing the Council to build a new 
bridge over Burwell s ("r; -; M\, at a 
cost of less than $1,500. 

In August, the School Beard asked 
for $3,000 to build a wing to the 
Model School. 

For 1885, the Council chosen was 
P. S. Stewart as Reeve by acclama 
tion; and Messrs John W. O Harro, 
Adam Inglis, James Clark and Thoj. 
Henderson in a contest. Once again 
the Council appointed Patrick Devine 
and Jas. Craig as auditors; and Geo. 
Eady, Jr., as High School trustee. 
The local Board of Health was re- 
elected: P. S. Stewart, R. Drysdale, 
Dr. O Brien, J. H. Walford and A. A. 
Wright. James Watt was appointed 
assessor, at $60 salary. 

At the February meeting Reeve 
Stewart reported that the Board of 
Health desired him to bring before 
the Council the desirability of procur 
ing a building to be used as an hos 

At the March meeting was pre 
sented a memorandum signed by W. 
R. White, Warden; and Peter Dal- 
glish, Reeve of Admaston; James 
Lindsay, Reeve, and A. H. Johnson, of 
Horton; and P. S. Stewart, Reeve, 
and P. Devine and A. Barnet, Ren 
frew, asking for recoupment of the 
moneys paid by the three municipal 
ities in aid of the Canada Central 

The town was evidently now com 
mencing to extend westward for 
petitions came in for sidewalks on 
Locliiel, James and German streets. 

In October, an epidemic of small 
pox caused further ventilation of tie 
question of an hospital, and Messrs 
Clark, Inglis and the Reeve were 
chosen as a committee to endeavor 
to procure a suitable place for an 

hospital. They secured the house on 
Mr Ward s farm for the purpose 

In 1886, Peter S. Stewart was for 
the fourth time in succession chosen 
as Reeve, defeating Mr J. D. Mc 
Donald. Again also there was a con 
test for the Councillorships, and 
Messrs Tiios. Henderson, Thos. 
Knight, J. W. O Harro and John Mc 
Laren were chosen. For the fourth 
time, Patrick Devine and Jas. Craig- 
audited the treasurer s books; Peter 
Dougall was re-appointed High 
School trustee; and Dr. O Brien, J. 
H. Walford and A. A. Wright along 
with the ex-officio officers were the 
Board of Health. D. F. Stewart was 
appointed assessor at $75. The new 
omce of Sanitary Inspector was 
named, and W. N. Faichney appoint 
ed to its occupancy. 

Mr W. H. Kearney appeared to 
ask Council to sanction the building 
of a bridge for foot passengers across 
the Bonnechere, to be erected by 
private subscriptions. Council asked 
for a plan. 

In April, Mr David Barr was 
chosen to fill the vacancy in Coun 
cil caused by the non-acceptance of 
the office by Mr John McLaren. Mr 
Barr, however, refused to accept: 
and at a subsequent nomination, Air 
John Brousseau was elected without 
a contest. But Mr Brousseau did 
not sit as Councillor either; and at 
at a nomination on June 10th, no 
elector was present save the Clerk. 
So on the 22nd June, Council took ad 
vantage of the power vested in it 
under such circumstances, and ap 
pointed Mr D. H. McAndrew as 

An agitation having arisen over 
the method of conducting the billiard 
room, Council raised the fees to $75 
for the first table, $50 for the next, 
$25 for subsequent ones, and fixed 
the hour of closing at 10 o clock. 

In June the Council passed a re 
solution expressing its gratification 



at the completion of the Canadian 
Pacific Railway, and at an exhibition 
of Manitoba farm products in a 
C.P.R. exhibition car. 

For a year or two the residents 
on the north side of the Bonnechere 
had been asking for the removal of 
the fences around the Public Square 
and County building lots, which 
had been given by Sir Francis 
Hincks, and which were still fenced 
in by Mr P. Kelly. The end of the 
contest came in August, when Mr 
Kelly agreed to remove the fences in 
side of three months. At the same 
meeting Council offered a reward of 
$500 for information that would lead 
to the conviction of the persons who 
had set fire to Mr S. O Gorman s 

In September, another advance in 
village life was to be noted, when a 
petition from J. S. Vandeleur, P. 
Kelly and 104 others asked the Coun 
cil to procure from Barr & Wright 
five electric lights to be used on the 
streets. Council asked for a larger 
petition, and by the next night the 
list hr.d been swelled to 200. So 
Council ordered the five arc lights at 
25c. each per night. In October, an- 
cther petition asked that two more 
lights be secured. 

In December, the end came to a 
long-standing grievance, the Public 
School supporters paying to the 
Separate School $300 that had boi ii 
Irregularly collected from the Separ 
ate School supoorters in 1872, 73 
and 75. 

For 1887 there was a contest for 
the Reeveship. Mr P. S. Stewart, it 
is remembered, did not wish to stand 
for re-election; but was pressed to 
remain as the representative of a pub 
lic issue then much in conflict. Mr 
Thos. Henderson was chosen by the 
opposition, and after a strenuous 
conflict, Mr Henderson was elected 
by a vote of 124 to 115. For Coun 
cillor Mr Allan Francis headed the 
poll with 170 votes; Jos. Gravelle 

and D. H. McAndrew came next with 
123 each; J. W. O Harro had 108; 
and this list made the Council. 
James Clark with 106 and M. French 
with 104 were within sight of elec 
tion: while James Craig and Thos. 
Knight, who had been nominated, 
had tendered their resignations be 
fore election. 

The new Council chose the old 
auditors James Craig and Patrick 
Devine; named P. S. Stewart as 
H gh School trustee; and selected 
Dr. Mann, Michael French and 
Robert Airth as local Board of 
Health, with Dr. O Brien as medical 
health officer; and W. N. Faichney as 
assessor and sanitary inspector. 

Early in the year, there was an ap 
peal and a petition to lower the 
billiard and bagatelle licenses; with 
other petitions not to do so. Depu 
tations were heard in person, also, 
both for and against; and apparently 
the "stand-patters" had the ear of 
the majority, for we can find no re 
cord of the fees then being lowered. 

At the March meeting, the first 
hint of waterworks in Renfrew was 
heard, when a communication was re 
ceived from Bassett Bros., engineers, 
of Buffalo, N.Y., suggesting a meet 
ing with the Reeve to consider the 
matter. It was evident better fire 
protection of some kind was under 
consideration, as at the same meet 
ing there were letters from fire en 
gine manufacturers. It was appar 
ently a growing time in the village in 
all directions, for petitions were com 
ing from all quarters for sidewalks 
and drains. 

On May 6th, Council authorized 
Jas. Allan, P.L.S., to prepare a plan 
of the village for the sum of $300. 

Another question warmly debated 
for some time was that regarding 
the raising of the street electric 
lights. A motion by Messrs Gravelle 
and McAndrew, ordered that Messrs 
Barr & Wright should raise the 
lights to a height of 45 feet from the 



ground. Mr Wright appeared at the 
next meeting to say that the lights 
were already higher than in other 
towns, that they did not pay them 
(B. & W.) and that rather than 
raise them, they would withdraw 
them altogether. And withdraw them 
they did. Then there came a peti 
tion from citizens for their re-instate- 
ment at their old position. And 
finally a compromise was reached by 
Barr & Wright raising the light at 
the Post Office to 45 feet as a ie-3t. 

There was also a contest regarding 
a strip of land claimed by Mr M. L. 
Russell along Patrick street, between 
Argyle and Lochiel: and which street 
Mr M. J. O Brien wished opened 
along a 2-acre property he had 
bought from Rev. Father Rougier, 
and which was long known as the 
"Priest s lot." Council agreed to 
purchase the 14-foot strip from Mr 
Russell if Mr O Brien would open 
Bonnechere and German streets 
through his property. 

The Council granted James King 
$50 to open a road on the town line 
if Admaston Council would grant a 
like amount, and also arranged for 
tlhe re-construction of Burwell s 
bridge on plans and specifications in 
possession of Mr McAndrew: E. 
Letang later receiving the contract 
for $550. 

This year also, after considerable 
contest and many debates, a sewer 
was constructed on Argyle street 
from near Patrick street to the 
river: the work finally being com 
mitted to the judgment of Mr Gra- 

All in all it was a busy year. 

For 1888, there was a large field 
nominated for Council. But there were 
also many resignations. Mr Hender 
son was re-elected Reeve by acclama 
tion. Eight ran as Councillors; and 
the elected were David Barr, Michael 
French, Samuel McDougall and Tobias 
Stafford. They chose Patrick Devine 
and James Craig as auditors; Geo. 

Eady, Jr.. as high school trustee; Dr. 
Galligan, Jas. Clark and J. K. Gorman 
as Iccal board of health; Dr. McCor- 
mack as medical health officer; D. F. 
Stewart as assessor; and W. X. 
Faichney as sanitary inspector. 

In March, Capt. Craig of No. 5, Co., 
42xd Batt., asked Council to permit of 
the use of part of the Town Hall for 
an armory: which probably signalized 
the period when r the local Volunteer 
Company saw its birth. 

At the meeting of April 21st, a peti 
tion was received from B. J. McDer- 
mott asking to be appointed police 
man for the village; and from A. A. 
Wright & Co., and 36 others, regard 
ing the regulating of closing of shops. 
At the following meeting Mr Jas. 
Craig appeared on behalf oi Cean & 
Sibary end 26 others, with a pet-ticn 
contrary to this closing by-law. Six 
teen of the petitioners had signed 
both petitions. Council therefore de 
cided not to act on the first petition, 
but authorized Mr J. D. McDonald to 
determine upon the form of petition 10 
be used, and adjourned to a later date 
to classify the several shops of the 

In May, a petition from the resi 
dents of Hall street was read praying 
that a stop be put to the construction 
of a lime-kiln adjacent to that street, 
and of the dangerous blasting in con 
nection therewith. 

In July, a petition from Janus 
Clark and 85 other ratepayers re 
quested that a by-law be passed to 


prevent cattle of all kinds from run 
ning at large. A petition by 112 
others prayed that such a by-law be 
not passed. As a by-law was already 
in force, since 18S3 prohibiting 
cows running at large between Ap:il 
and November, it was probable this 
petition meant prohibition for the year 
round. Apparently the reform was 
not for this year, as the by-law passed 
by Council made clear in definition 
the old by-law, but left the time of 
prohibition only from April till Xo -- 



In September, the Council notified 
the County Council that the bridge 
over the Bonnechere was not safe, and 
that they had better send on an en 
gineer at once; and a new census was 
ordered, to see if a license* could be 
given to James Murphy for the Albion 
Hotel. W. N. Faichney was appoint 
ed census taker at a salary of $25. 
He found the population to be 2,624. 

In December, Council offered $50 re 
ward for the apprehension of the par 
ties who committed burglary at A. S. 
Rusland s store on night of Dec. 13th. 

Messrs Stafford and French intro 
duced a by-law which was carried 
through the necessary readings em 
powering Council to dispose of the old 
Town Hall and site, and to purchase 
for $700 from Jos. Flaunt another site 
on Railway street (the lot opposite 
the Baptist caurch). Legal difficul 
ties must have been found in the way 
of completing the purchase, however, 
or else outside opposition; as it was 
not carried through. 

For 1899, the Council chosen com 
prised Thos. Henderson, re-elected by 
acclamation as Reeve; and Messrs 
David Barr, James Craig, Michael 
French and Tobias Stafford as Coun 
cillors. They chose as auditors P. 
Devine and G. W. McDonald; as local 
board of health, Dr. McCormack, 
James Clark and J. K. Gorman, with 
Dr. Galligan as medical health offi 
cer; as high school trustee, Peter 
Dougall; as assessor, D. F. Stewart. 

In February, the Counc. l began to 
think corporation papers were be 
coming of importance sufficient to 
warrant that they should be taken 
care of; and so it ordered the pur 
chase of a fire-proof safe: which was 
afterwards purchased from P. McRse 
for $105. A little later on, the Coun 
cil empowered Mr Craig to "open 
proper rate, debenture and account 
books, to contain proper entries of 
all municipal affairs and finances, and 
that the Treasurer and Clerk give 

him necessary aid and assistance." 

In 1888, it had been noted that B. 
J. McDermott had applied for the 
position of Chief Constable. No ac 
tion had then been taken. But, ap 
parently the feeling that he was the 
man for that kind of position would 
not down in his breast, for aga n in 
March of this year he made applica 
tion for the position. At the next 
meeting there were applications 
from several others as well, for the 
post of Chief Constable, that of 
Harry Leggett being accompanied by 
a petition of over 70 names; and it 
was Mr Leggett who was awarded 
the place, at a salary of $450 and 
with hours of duty from 10 a.n\ till 
12 p.m. 

In May, A. A. Wright & Co. wrote 
the Council that they had decided to 
extend their electric lighting system 
by adding an incandescent circuit, and 
asking for permission to place their 
poles on the streets. At the same 
meeting Mr Craig introduced a by 
law to prohibit cows from running at 
large on the streets at any time, a 
proposition that had been turned 
down the previous year. This time 
the feeling of Council was in favor 
of the advance. Nobody seemed to 
appeal for the "poor man s cow," and 
the by-law carried unanimously. 

At meetings all through the latter 
part of the year there were communi 
cations and discussions regarding the 
permission for placing poles for elec 
trical purposes on the streets: there 
being now two local lighting com 
panies, besides the telephone and two 
telegraph companies to be dealt with. 
Council was endeavoring to arrange 
such a combination of wiring that 
there would be only two sets of poles 
on the streets; but apparently did 
not get that solution before the end 
of the year. 

For the Council of 1890, Mr Hend 
erson was again returned, but only 
after a contest with Mr James Craig, 
who was 15 behind when the poll 



closed. The Councillors chosen were 
Edward Mackay, Robert Carswell, 
James McNicol, and William Airth. 
They chose Patrick Devine and G. W. 
McDonald as auditors; P. S. Stewart 
as High School trustee; Elkanah 
Mayhew as assessor; and Messrs 
Jas. Clark, M. French, and N. Mc- 
Cormack as Board of Health; with 
Dr. Galligan as Medical Health offi 

Among the earliest of the works of 
this year s Council was the settling 
up of a dispute which had been un 
der way for some time regarding the 
lands of the Hincks estate. On Jan 
uary 27th, Council agreed to pay Mr 
D. H. McAndrew $400 (afterwards 
made $450), on his giving the town 
the deeds for several lots and 
streets; the town also agreeing to 
close parts of streets leading through 
what has since been known as Aber 
deen Park. 

At a February meeting the Coun 
cil had a bit of diversion. They were 
aroused from their deliberations by a 
cry of "fire !" A prisoner had set 
fire to the lock-up by burning the 
straw of his mattress. The lock-up 
was saved ! 

In March, the electric lights were 
once again placed on the streets; the 
height of the lamps having been 
again a matter of contest. This time 
it was decided that they were all to 
be 32 feet above the ground, except 
that at the Post office which was to 
be 40 feet. 

In April, the C.P.R. agreed to pay 
the cost of an electric light at the 
Main street crossing, in order to pro 
tect the public and not become re 
sponsible for gates. The Council 
gave to Mr A. A. Wright s electric 
light company the right to place 
their poles on the east and north 
sides of streets. 

In June, 168 ratepayers petitioned 
the Council to amend the cow by-law, 
by allowing cows to run at large in 
the day time but apparently the peti 

tion was without avail. The Coun 
cil refused to move back the hands 
on the clock. 

This year the Board of Health in 
structed that all wells in the town 
should be** cleaned. 

The thirty-fourth annual meeting 
of the ratepayers of the village of 
Renfrew was held on Dec. 29th, 
1890; and this year for the first time 
a deputy-reeve was chosen: Mr Ed 
ward Mackay getting the position by 
acclamation; as did also, John Burns, 
Jr., Robert Carswell and M. J. O 
Brien as Councillors. For the Reeve- 
ship, however, there was a contest: 
Mr P. .S. Stewart being chosen once 
again by 36 votes over Mr Barr. It 
is recollected that it was not a per 
sonal contest in any sense; but sim 
ply marked the determination of 
those who had some years before al 
lowed Mr Stewart to go down to de 
feat, while carrying their banner to 
retrieve the position for him: though 
many of them would have been well 
pleased to vote for Mr Barr as well. 

The Council chose Patrick Devine 
and G. W. McDonald as auditors; 
Geo. Eady, Jr., as High school trus 
tee; and G. W. McDonald as High 
school trustee also (in place of P. S. 
Stewart, resigned) ; A. A. Wright, 
Jas. Clark and Robert Airth as local 
Board of Health; with Dr. Galligan 
as Medical Health officer; and G. W. 
McDonald as assessor. 

At the March meeting, Mr Mackay 
gave notice of the introduction of a 
by-law to appoint a Chief Constable; 
and at the April session the long- 
cherished ambition of Bernard J. Mc- 
Dermott was satisfied. On motion 
of Messrs Carswell and O Brien, he 
was appointed to the post for which 
he had first applied some two or 
three years previously; and thus be 
gan, at an initial emolument of $400 
a year, and a first uniform, "Barney" 
McDermott s long, eventful and suc 
cessful career as guardian of the 
peace and property of Renfrew; end- 



ing in 1909 with, his appointment to 
the position of Chief in the rapidly 
growing city of Prince Albert, Sask. 
He was chosen for his first position 
over three other applicants. At the 
same meeting a demand was made 
on motion of Messrs O Brien and 
Mackay, that the C.P.R. give better 
accommodation in the shape of a new 

railway station. 

Other signs of the town s growth 
were the large number of petitions 
received for new sidewalks, and the 
agitation for the purchase of a steam 
fire engine. There was over this 
topic an exciting public meeting, 
which still has humorous place in the 
memory of many citizens; at wnich 
John D. Ronald, the maker of the 
engine which the Council was not 
disposed to buy, was the centre of at 
traction. He had Councillors and 
editors on their feet in hot denial of 
his insinuations. The Council were 
in an awkward position. Part of the 
ratepayers were in great outcry 
against additional taxation; while 
another section, backed by some re 
cent disastrous fires in the town, 
were urging for better fire protection. 
The Council had practically commit 
ted themselves to the small and 
cheap Waterous engine before 
Ronald appeared on the scene t) 
make matters lively. The public 
meeting was in February; and it was 
the middle of August before Coun 
cillor Burns gave notice of the intro 
duction of a by-law for the purchase 
of the engine. 

In September, Mr O Brien s busi 
ness interests having called him 
much away from town, his seat was 
declared vacant, and Mr Matthew 
Devine appointed in his stead. 

In December, the Local Board of 
Health advised the Council to get 
the services of an expert to report on 
drainage and sewerage systems for 
Renfrew. Mr Wright appeared be 
fore the Council to further urge the 
matter, suggesting the name of Willis 

Chipman, C.E.; and upon motion of 
Messrs Devine and Mackay, Mr Chip- 
man was requisitioned to visit Ren 
frew and make a report upon the 
conditions in the village. 

For 1892, P. S. Stewart and E. 
Mackay were re-elected Reeve and 
Deputy Reeve, unanimously: and 
Messrs D. Barr, Robert Carswell and 
Matthew Devine, Councillors. Wil 
liam Mills, J. H. Walford and Geo. T. 
Johnson were chosen as the local 
Board of Health, with T. D. Galligan. 
M.D., as medical health officer; and 
B. J. McDermott as sanitary iaspee- 
tor; P. Devine and James Craig were 
again chosen auditors; D. C. I.tcI.Iar- 
tin high school trustee; find G. W. 
McDonald as assessor. 

Mr Willis Chipman, C.E.. came 
early in the year to make a sewerage 
report and subsequently offered to 
prepare a plan of the town for sewer 
age and drainage purposes for $2;iO. 

In February the County officials 
notified the Council that the num 
ber of voters in the village 
now called for three polling places. 
In this month also Council took pre 
liminary steps to ask the Legislature 
for permission to raise the sum of 
$30,000 to pay off C. C. Railway de 
bentures, to replace misapplied 
K. & P. R. sinking fund, and to raise 
an additional sum for the purpose of 
erecting a Town Hall and Fire Hall. 

On April 14th, the steam fire en 
gine, long talked of and debated, was 
purchased, on motion of Messrs Barr 
and Mackay, from the Waterous 
Company, the price being $2,700, in 
ten equal annual instalments. 

In May, the Local Board of Health 
passed a resolution asking the Coun 
cil to provide for the removal of . 
night soil and other injurious matter. 
At the same meeting, Mr George 
Eady appeared from the Sons of 
Temperance, offering to give thf-ir 
lot free, if the town in ret-irn woul ! 
provide them with a room for their 
meetings if a Town Hall were built 



At this meeting also, the advisability 
of putting a limit on dogs by t T i in 
troduction of the tag system was 
mooted; and at the meeting on 
May 23rd, Messrs Devine and Cars- 
well presented a resolution which 
carried that the tag system be in 
stituted, and all dogs running without 
a tag should be disposed of, afier a 
week in pound. 

At the September meeting it \vas 
announced that the Sons of Temper 
ance were unanimous in granting the 
rear half of their lot to the town I ree 
for a fire hall. This offer was ar- 
cepttd; and later the contract loi 
ttie erection of the building wns 
given to J. & J. D. McNicol for 
$1,741: this including the excavation 
of the tank under the building. 

The remainder of the year s busi 
ness was simply routine. 

For 1893, Mr P. S. Stewart was 
again nominated for the Reeveship; 
but he declined to longer hold the of 
fice; and Mr James Craig was elect 
ed, with Mr. Jas. Clark as deputy-reeve 
and Messrs M. Devine, E. Mayhew 
and Henry Moss as councillors. Pat 
rick Devine and M. McKinnon were 
appointed auditors; G. W. McDonald 
was appointed High School trustee; 
Geo. T. Johnson, assessor; J. H. Wai- 
ford, Geo. T. Johnson and Wm. Mills, 
local board of health, and T. D. Gal- 
ligan, medical health officer. 

There were eleven tenders for the 
town s $23,000 debentures; and the 
highest was $24,265 by Jas. Craig; 
and this was accepted. 

In February, Mr Clark fathered 
three important by-laws one to regu 
late the town s fire department, an 
other to regulate the erection of 
buildings and the storage of inflam 
mable materials (that is the fire limit 
by-law), and the third to erect the 
village into a town. 

At a meeting on March 9th, Mr 
Willis Chipman, C.E., was present 
and spoke on waterworks and 
artesian wells. Some citizens were 

present as well, and it was decided 
to have analysis made of the waiter 
in Francis lake, the Bonnechere 
river and several wells in town. 

At the meeting on March 13th, the 
Village Clerk, Mr Robert Drysdale, 
wrote that his eyesight was failing 
and that therefore he resigned his 
position. On the 20th on motion of 
Messrs Devine and Mayhew, Mr J. K. 
Rochester was appointed Clerk at a 
salary of $180; and Jos. Plaunt and 
Dr. Galligan were chosen fire ward 
ens under the terms of the new by 

In April, the Council purchased the 
old wooden Temperance Hall for use 
as a t:ol and coal shed in connection 
with the new Fire Hall. At the same 
meeting the town s first official dump 
ing ground was leased from Mr E. 
Mayhew. And Reeve Craig called 
the attention of Council to the ad 
visability of seeking to get the C.P.R. 
and the approaching Ottawa, Arn- 
prior and Parry Sound Railway to 
build a union station in Renfrew. 

On April 14th, the Council em 
powered the Board of Health to issue 
a circular requiring that all wells be 
cleaned cut before July 1st; and the 
Reeve and Deputy-Reeve were com 
missioned to see if a suitable build 
ing could be secured for an hospital. 

On May 9th, the Council met for 
the first time in the new Fire Hall, an 
upstairs room in which was to serve 
as a council chamber for some years. 
At that meeting a letter from the 
C.P.R. declined for the present at all 
to discuss the matter of a union 
station. Mr Clark reported that no 
building could be rented for an hos 
pital, and if the town wanted one it 
would have to build. 

In June, Mr Moss promoted a by 
law to provide for street sprinkling 
by a frontage tax. 

In September, Messrs Mackay & 
Guest were given permission to erect 
poles, etc., for a second electric light 
service in town. 



In November, Council passed a by 
law closing parts of Doyle street, to 
accommodate the station of the O.A. 
& P.S. railway. 

All through the year there was a 
succession of appeals for sidewalks, 
drains and electric lights. It was evi 
dent that there was a new throb in the 
municipal development of Renfrew: 
though for some reason it was found 
either impossible or inadvisable in the 
opinion of the majority of the Council 
to go on with the erection of the vil 
lage into a town. 

For 1894 Jas. Craig and Jas. Clark 
were elected Reeve and Deputy-Reeve, 
and Samuel Moffatt, W. A. Mackay 
and Wm. Mills were chosen Council 
lors. Patrick Devine and Orange 
Wright were appointed auditors; Rob 
ert McLaren, J. H. Walford and David 
Brownlee members of the local Board 
of Health, and Dr. Galligan as medi 
cal health officer; Geo. Eady, Jr., as 
High School trustee; and Jos. Flaunt 
and Dr. Galligan as fire wardens. 

While for many years it had been 
customary to appoint a streets com 
mittee, we find this year for the first 
time mention of a finance committee: 
Reeve Craig and Messrs. Mills and 
Mackay being chosen for it. Fire and 
light and relief committees were also 
struck for the first time. 

At the February meeting, Messrs. 
A. A. Wright and Robert McLaren ad 
dressed the Council regarding the 
Creamery which it was proposed to 
found in Renfrew, and asked that the 
Council send a delegate along with 
others to inspect a creamery at St. 
Albans, Vermont. Council voted $10 
towards the expenses of the delegate, 
who was to be either James Stewart 
or James Clark. At the same meeting 
Mr. Clark reported that the County 
Council had made a grant of $2,000 
towards a new bridge over the Bonne- 
chere at Renfrew, the bridge to be 

either stone or iron, or if wooden un 
der the supervision of the county en 

Mr. P. S. Stewart was appointed a 
member of the Board of Health, in 
place of R. McLaren, who had re 
signed. Mr. Stewart declining, Mr. M. 
Devine was appointed. 

The auditors having reported in 
favor of having special books in which 
could be opened accounts for the dif 
ferent funds of the municipality, 
Council ordered that such books 
should be procured. 

On February 26th the offer of J. L. 
Morris to prepare plans and specifi 
cations for a bridge over the Bonne- 
chere for $120 was accepted. 

In March a resolution was carried 
to exempt the proposed creamery 
from taxation for ten years. 

A hook and ladder truck was pur 
chased from M. Stanley of Perth. 

In May tenders for the new Bonne- 
chere bridge were opened. The con 
tract for the masonry was awarded to 
J. W. Munro for $3,900. John R. Allan, 
C.E., was appointed inspector of con 
struction. For the iron superstructure 
there were three tenders received on 
the Morris plans. The cheapest was 
that of the Weddell Bridge Co., of 
Trenton, for $4,050. This was more 
than Council felt prepared to spend, 
and so Mr. Morris was instructed to 
prepare plans along lines suggested 
by the Weddell Co., and which they 
said they would build for $2,475; 
which offer was accepted. 

On August 17th a special meeting 
of Council was held to consider the 
steps necessary to incorporate the vil 
lage into a town. After discussion in 
committee-of-the-whole, on motion of 
Messrs. Mackay and Mills, it was de 
cided to proceed in that direction, and 
the Reeve and Clerk were instructed 
to take the necessary steps of census- 
taking, advertising, and petitioning 



the Lieutenant- Governor in Council, 
dividing into wards, etc. 

In December Mr. W. H. Kearney 
appeared before the Council asking 
for leave to build a Page wire foot 
bridge over the Bonnechere river. He 
had had permission some years be 
fore, but nothing had been done at 

that time. Council debated and "de 
cided not to interfere." 

Horton street, from the Creek 
bridge southwards, had years previ 
ously deviated from the straight line, 
and portions of this street proper 
were now sold to Mr. J. R. Allan and 
Mrs. John Wallace. 


It was open voting in 1858, and here is a record of the voters at Renfrew s 
first municipal election: 

1 Sinon Gorman 

2 Robert Drysdale 

3 James Ward 

4 James Airth 

5 Joseph Felio 

6 Sampson Coombs 

7 William Dickson 

8 Henry Airth, Esq. 

9 A. R. McDonald 

10 William Logan 

11 John L. McDougall 

12 Edward Murphy 

13 George Davis 

14 Orange Wright 

15 Michael Breaseau 

16 Baptest Jurda 

17 John McLean, Clerk 

18 Lawrence Reily 

19 John Sticheson 

20 Abraham Frazor 

21 Joseph Mayhue 

22 William Halpenny 

23 John McRae 

24 Joseph Gravelle 

25 Francis Dupee 

26 Henry Groves 

27 Peter Portugee 

28 James Watt 

29 Hector Munroe 

30 David Evens 

31 John Mclnnis 

32 Alexander Jamieson 

33 Dominick Plante 

34 John Burns 

35 Peter Dougall 

36 Joseph Cole 

37 Gabriel Menior 

38 John Mills 

39 James Gibbons 

40 Alkanak Mayhue 

41 John Coumbs 

42 John Churchill 

43 John Smith 

44 John Bolanquet 

45 Antowin Lawska 

46 Peter Neill 

47 William Mackay, Merchant 

48 John B. Mantion 

49 John Munroe 

50 John Rankin, Merchant 

51 Archibald Thompson 

52 John O Haro 

53 Baptest Longdoe 

54 John Smith, Tanner 

55 Robert C. Mills 

56 John Grunt 

The nominees and the number of votes recorded for each were as follows: 
John Smith, 48; John Churchill, 40; Wm. Dickson, 36; R. C. Mills, 35; Sampson 
Coumbs, 32; Arch. Thompson, 30; J. L. McDougall, 14; Henry Airth, Esq., 13; 
John Rankin, 0. The first five were elected, and they chose John Smith as 
Reeve. Some of the nominees had intimated that they did not desire election. 




The following of an historical character 
regarding the County Council, from Mr 
Mitchell s pen, can well find a place in the 
"Story of Renfrew." 


Our Fathers, where are they ? 

The Canada Gazette of the 8th of June, 
1861, contained a proclamation of the 
Governor General, in obedience to which 
the reeves of the County of Renfrew met 
in the Village of Renfrew, on Thursday, 
the 20th June, 1861, and formed them 
selves into the Provisional Council of the 
County of Renfrew, with T. P. French as 
Warden, and 8. G. Lynn as secretary, 
pending the appointment of a permanent 
Clerk. The following is the list of mem 
bers composing this Provisional Council, 

1. Brown, William ; Township of Staf 

2. Burwash, Nathaniel ; Township of 

3. Cars well, Thomas M.; Township of 

4. Devine, Felix; Township of Bagot, 
Blythfleld and Brougham. 

5. French, Thomas P. 
Sebastopol and Griffith. 

6. Gibbons, William ; 

7. Gorman, Michael ; 

8. Gould, Jason ; Township of Ross. 

9. Jamieson, William ; Township 

10. Lett, Thomas; Township of Wil- 

11. Lynn, Samuel G.; 
Grattan and Algona. 

12. McConnell, Benj.; 
Rolph, Buchanan, &c. 

13. Mulligan, Michael 

14. Munroe, John ; Renfrew Village. 

Township of 
Township of 
Township of 


Township of 




15. Reynolds, John; Township of 

16. Rowan, John; Township of Alice. 

17. White, Richard ; Pembroke Village. 
John Hickey was appointed Clerk and 

Andrew Irving Treasurer, at this session. 

All these are dead save one John 
Rowan, of Alice, who removed to and 
still lives in the territory now known as 
New Ontario. 

The most important function with 
which this 1 Provisional Council was charg 
ed was the erection of county buildings 
at Pembroke, which by Act of Parliament 
had been selected as the County Town. 
Until the necessary buildings were pro 
vided to the satisfaction of the Govern 
ment, the union between Lanark and 
Renfrew could not be dissolved. This 
having been accomplished, a proclama 
tion appeared in the Canada Gazette of 
the 25th of August, 1866, separating the 
County of Renfrew from the County of 
Lanark, to take effect and the first meet 
ing of the Council of the County of Ren 
frew to be held on the 10th day of 
October, 1866, at the new county town. 
The first meeting of the first Council of 
the newly erected County, accordingly 
took place, and the Provisional Council 
of the year became the Council of the 
Corporation of the County of Renfrew ; 
John Rankin, Reeve of Ross, being the 

This first Council was composed of the 

1. Bonfield, James, Grattan. 

2. Brown, William, Stafford. 

3. Burton, William, Horton. 

4. Carswell, Thos. M., Westmeath. 

5. Cardiff, George, Admaston. 

6. Devine, Felix, Renfrew. 

7. Fisher, John, McNab. 

8. Foster, Archibald, Pembroke Town 

9. Gallagher, John, Sebastopol. 


10. Hamilton, Sam., Alice. 

11. Harvey, John, Arnprior. 

12. Heenan, James, Pembroke Village. 

13. Lane, John, Brougham. 

14. Law, Robert, Rolph, etc. 

15. McGregor, James, Petewawa. 

16. McNee, Alex., Bagot and B. 

17. Mulligan, Michael, Bromley. 

18. Rankin, John, Ross. 

19. Smith, Robert R., Wilberforce, etc. 

20. Watson, John S. J., Brudenell, etc. 

On looking over this list we again find 
the grim monster has been active among 
our ranks. For but five of this last 
mentioned Council now remain alive, 
viz.: Messrs Foster, Harvey, Hamilton, 
Gallagher and Watson and but one, 
Foster, the veteran, is in active municipal 
life to-day. It falls to the lot of but few 
to serve their county for so many years 
as he has done, and in such stirring times. 
During the years of the struggle for the 
county town and later over the erection 
of the county buildings, Smith, Watson 
and Foster were the doughtiest warriors, 
but the prizes fell to the side of Foster. 
Smith fought well, but lost. Watson 
retired full of years, but went into re 
tirement like Foster, who now retires, 
followed by a memory of honorable and 
faithful service, and to enjoy, it is to be 
hoped, their well-earned repose. 

A noteworthy incident among the last 
acts of the Provisional Council was the 
passing of the following resolution on the 
9th of October, 18f)6 : 

Moved by Mr Watson, seconded by Mr 
Fi.sher. and resolved, " That this Council 
recognizes with gratitude and admira 
tion, the prompt and loyal manner in 
which the volunteers of our country 
answered the call of government to fill 
the ranks to expel the horde of lawless 
and marauding Fenian invaders from our 
shores. They would also express their 
thankfulness for the spirit of loyalty to 
our Queen and constitution so en 
thusiastically displayed by all ranks and 
classes of our Canadian fellow subjects 
in driving the ruthless invaders from our 
soil, and they would express hereby also 
their deep sympathy with tbe family of 
Mr Newburn, the master of the Carleton 
Place Grammar School, on the lament 
able, though glorious death of his only 
son, one of the most promising of the 
young men of our country, who fell 
nobly battling for the land of his birth 
and the much valued privilege of British 

connection, an example that will not fail 
to fire the emulation of our patriot youth, 
and whose name will be enrolled hence 
forth among the heroes and patriots of 
our land in the pages of Canadian 

I enjoyed a personal intimacy with 
most of the members of Council during 
the stormy years preceding and im 
mediately following the separation from 
Lanark, and my recollection of them is 
that while there were a few among them 
of more than ordinary strength of will 
and purpose, as is generally the case in 
so large a body of men, yet all seemed 
actuated and governed by a patriotic 
desire to accomplish that which was in 
their view best adapted for the general 
good, and they constituted as a whole, a 
council well fitted to grapple with the 
weighty problems incident to the es 
tablishing of the new organization on 
solid foundations, and though fierce at 
times raged the conflict around the Coun 
cil board, no personal animosities remain 
ed, and finally all settled down to work 
harmoniously for the common weal. 


My own official connection with the 
County Council began January, 1869. On 
entering upon my duties I found that the 
minute book of my predecessor contained 
no record of anything except the ordinary 
routine motions. The actual work of 
legislation could not be traced therein. 
I at once inaugurated such a system of 
recording the business of the Council as 
that, from that time onward the minute 
book with the by-law book, into which 
every by-law is copied in full, contains 
the complete history of every transaction. 
Although this was a great advance upon 
the methods previously in vogue, experi 
ence has taught me much and improve 
ments have from time to time been intro 
duced (including the printing of the 
minutes in pamphlet form and their ex 
tensive distribution through the length 
and breadth of the County) so that with 
the books of record before us or the print 
ed copies thereof in hand, we can trace 
the progress and development of our 
county along all lines which are embrac 
ed within the jurisdiction of or are 
brought under the purview of the County 
Council with the utmost certainty and 
ease. On this line I have recently com 
pleted the indexing of the printed copies 
of the minutes which embrace two bound 


volumes of 14 years each, with six years 
of current minutes yet in loose pamphlets. 
In addition to the indexing of each 
separate volume I have also prepared one 
general index of all the transactions of 
the thirty-four years from 1869. Accom 
panying each entry therein is noted the 
volume of printed minutes and its page 
wherein the details of the item will be 
found. This index I have made the 
repository of much historical matter not 
strictly relating to the minutes but hav 
ing association with the past of our Coun 
ty, making the book in its condensed 
form a mine from which the future 
historian of the County of Renfrew may 
secure some valuable nuggets. Its cur 
rent value for purposes of ready reference 
to the past has already been fully proven. 
It has been a heavy undertaking, requir 
ing, to make it accurate and reliable, 
great care and research. It has been 
however a labor of love, and I take pride 
in its completion to date (with space for 
the business of the future) and point to 
it as entirely unique and original. 

Let us look then at a few matters of 
record which tell us somew r hat of our 
County s development. 

Firstly, as to material wealth. In 1869 
the equalized valuation of the assessment 
rolls for County purposes showed a total 
of $1,668,486. In 1902 it was $5,801.238 
which shows an increase of $4,132,752, or 
the astounding advance of 348 per cent., 
and this notwithstanding that in 1888 all 
live stock, and in 1899 all other personal 
property of the agriculturist and the 
produce of his farm have been exempt 
from assessment. 

Secondly, as to taxation for County pur 
poses. On the $1,668,486, total valuation 
in 1869, the county rate was ten mills on 
the dollar, or a gross levy of $16,661. On 
the $5,801, 238, total valuation in 1902 the 
county rate was but three mills on the 
dollar, or a gross levy of $17,399. A re 
duction of taxation of seven mills on the 
dollar with the additional advantage to 
the agriculturist of all his personal pro 
perty exempt from taxation. 

In the year 1869 a man assessed at $500 
paid a County rate of $5.00, while in 1902 
he pays but $1.50. 

In 1869 the proportion of taxation for 
County purposes borne by urban munici 
palities was 22 per cent, and in 1902, 30 
per cent. 

In the same years the proportion borne 

by suburban municipalities was respec 
tively 78 per cent, and 70 per cent. 

Towns and villages have therefore 
borne an increased taxation of 8 per cent, 
while the Townships have their burthen 
lessened in like proportion. 

Thirdly, as to the cost of the County 
Council under the new regime of County 
Council Divisions, as compared with the 
old when every Reeve and Deputy Reeve 
was a County Councillor. The new sys 
tem lias been in operation for six years. 
I therefore, for the sake of comparison, 
take the last six years under the old, 
when we had a Council of 33 members 
while now only 14. 

Year Days Cost 

1891 11 $1,391.30 
1892 11 1,302.60 
1893 11 1.330.30 
1894 11 1.385.70 
1895 10 1,314.40 
1896 12 1,517.80 

Year Days Cost 
1897 14 $788.10 
1898 10 579.00 
1899 10 626.90 
1900 9 582.50 
1901 11 602.10 
1902 11 566.40 

66 days. 

65 3,745.00 
To which 
must be add 
ed the cost 
of the 3 coun 
ty council 
elections pre 
viously borne 
by the local 
m u nic i pal- 
ities. 18978, 
$379; 1899-00, 
$325; 1901-2, 
$249. $953.00 


Average per annum 


under the old 


Average per annum under the new 782 

Saving per annum under the new 
or 43 per cent. 

Fourthly, as to the amount of work 
done and the time taken to do it. 

Vol. I of the printed minutes covers the 
period 1869-82 or 14 years, and contains 
1,084 pages, averaging per annum 77 3/7 
pages. Vol. II, 1883-96 or 14 years. 1,226 
pages, averaging per annum 87 4/9 pages. 
Current Vol. say 1897-1901 (1902 left out 
because not completed) 5 years, 488 pages, 
averaging per annum 97 3/5 pages. 

Thus we see that the printed record of 
the business transacted exhibits 10 pages 
of work more under the new system (14 
members) than was done under the old 
from 1883-96 (average 25 members) and 
twenty pages more than 1869-82 (say 20 
members) : while under the new system 
it was done also in shorter time by sever 
al days. 



The Dominion Census exhibits the 
population of this County in 1871 as 27,974, 
and in 1901 as 52,596, an increase in the 20 
years of 24,622 or 88 per cent., and this 
notwithstanding the fact that the migra 
tion from this County westward on the, 
line of the Canadian Pacific Railway and 
to the territory now known as New On 
tario, has been very large. 

I trust this retrospect and statement of 
present conditions compared with the 
past may have proved of sufficient inter 
est to you not to be wearisome, and being 
culled from the recorded facts, where 
figures are quoted all have been verified 
at one time or another, but placed in this 
concrete form I trust they may tend to 
remove some misapprehensions as to the 
degree of development this county has 
undergone through the years. 


Airth, David, 120 

Airth, Sergeant Henry, 3, 63 

Airth, James, 82 

Airth, William, 120 

Allan, James, P.L.S., 64 

Almeras, Rev. Father L., 146 

Archer, Richard, 85 

Band, Renfrew s first, 37 and 40 

Bannerman, Wm., 126 

Barnard, J., 45 

Barnet, Alex., 124 

Barr, David, 9, 121 

Barr, William, 8 

Beattie, Dr., 142 

Beauchamp, Antoine, 2 

Beaudry, Baptiste, 13 

Bell, Captain, 10, 28 

Bellerby, Henry, 84 

Berlanguets, the, 84 

Berlanguet, John, 10 

Billings, Elkanah, 36, 86 

Blackwood, Dr., 142 

Bonnington, George, 12 

Bouvier, Rev. Father, 72, 147 

Bremner, John, 9 

Brennan, Rev. Alex., 145 

Brill, John, 3 

Bromley, Jas., 85 

Brousseaus, the, 64 

Browns, the, 9 

Brunette, Antoine, 8 

Brunette, Joseph, 1, 8 

Bruyere (Blair), Oliver, 2 

Burns, John, 12, 69 

Burton, Wm., 9 

Burwell, Wm., 10 

Byrne, Rev. Father, 72 

Cameron, Donald, 13 
Cameron, John, 3 
Cameron, Peter, 2, 8 
Campbell, John, 9 
Cardiff, George, 9 
Carswell, Dr., 12, 65 
Carswell, James, 123 
Carswell, Robert, 69 
Casimir, - , 10, 13 
Cayley, Hon. Mr., 92 

Charbonneau, Joseph, 12, 82 

Churchill, John, 13, 69 

Clarks, the, 10 

Code, Dr. 142 

Cole, Ezekiel, 10 

Colvins, the, 78 

Costello, John W., W. N., 137 

Costello, Miss, 138 

Costello, Thomas, 7 

Coumbs, Sampson, 12, 66 

Coyle, - , 1 

Cranston, Dr., 142 

Creek, the McCrea s, Farquhar- 

son s, Smith s 12 
Creighton, Rev. Wm., 145 

Dale, John, 3 
Descheau, Antoine, 2 
Devines, the, 14 
Devine, Andrew, 115 
Devine, Felix, 113 
Devine, Felix M., 116 
Devine, John, 115 
Devine, Matthew, 115 
Devine, Patrick, 114 
Devlins, surveyors, 9 
Dickson, Richard, 75 
Dickson, Wm., 11 
Dominion House, the, 83 
Dougall, Peter, 79 
Dougherty, James, 13 
Drysdale, Robert, 70 
Dunlops, the, 10 

Eadys, the, 10 
Eady, George, Jr., 119 
Edwards, Frank, 10, 18 
Evans, Dr. David, 64 

Faichney, W. N., 3, 11, 69 
Farrell, Edward, 10 
Ferguson, Archibald, 140 
Ferguson, Duncan, 9, 13 
Ferguson, John, 140 
Fitzmaurice, James, 118 
Fitzmaurice, Michael, 117 

Flemeau, - , 13 

Forrest, John, Jr., 9 
Forrest, John, Sr., 7 



Forrest, Robert, 6 
Francis, Samuel, 19, 36, 64 
Fraser, Abram, 83 
Fraser, Rev. Simon C., 72 
Freemont, Rev. Father, 146 
Freer, Dr. Thos., 143 
Fremeau, Louis, 10 
French, Francis, 116 
French, Francis, Jr., 117 
French, Michael, 117 

Gibbons, Jas., William, John B., 

George, 9 

Gibbons, James, 64 
Gorbys, the, 10 
Gordon, Robert, 81 
Gravelle, Joseph, 74 
Groves, the, 9 
Groves, Henry, 19, 68 

Hall, John, 3 
Halpenny, Wm., 83 
Hannah, Rev. Thos., 144 
Harkness, Robert, 80 
Harris, Wm., 86 
Hazelton, John, William, 79 
Henderson, Thos., 133 
Hincks, Sir Francis, 76, 89 
Holland, Charles, 84 
Horton, R. J. Wilmot, 2 
Hughes, Dr. 142 
Humphries, Francis, 10 
Huntingdon, Rev. Silas, 145 
Hynes, Thos. 138 

Jamieson, Alex., 71 
Jamieson, Alex., 135 
Jamieson, Wm., 9 
Jamieson, Wm., 141 
Johnston, James, 10 
Jourdin, Nulbeir, 13 

Kelly, Patrick, 19, 67, 86 
Knight, Joseph, 6 
Knight, Thomas, 9 
Knight, Thomas, 132 

Leacy, Thomas, 134 
Leitch, Archibald, 10 
Leggett, Henry, 132 
Lester, Ben, 133 
Lewis, Wm., 10 
Lochead, Rev. W., 137 
Logan, Wm., 19, 65 
Lynch, James, 10 
Lynch, Jeremiah, 13 
Lynn, Dr., 143 

Mair, the brothers, 74 
Mann, Rev. Dr., 26 
Martin, William, Alex., John, 
Thomas, 8 

Mason, Samuel, 10 

Masson, Rev. Jas., 144 

Mayhew, Charles, Joseph, Ed 
ward, Peter, 13 

Mayhew, Elkanah, 64 

Mayhew, Ira, 5 

Mayhew, Joseph, 3, 63 

Mills, John, 66 

Mills, R. C., 74 

Minard, Gabriel, 73 

Montgomery, Wm., 20 

Moore, Dr., 143 

Morris, James, 20 

Morris, James, William, Peter, 

Morris, Thomas, 86 

Muir, T. B., 79, 118 

Munro, John, Jr., 74 

Munro, John, Sr., 75 

Murphy, Joshua, 82 

Mackay, Wm., 70 

McAndrew, John, 13, 67 
McCallum, John, 10 
McConeghys, the, 10 
McCrea, Gerard, 113 
McCrea, John, 28, 77 
McDonald, A. R., 78 
McDonald, G. W., 150 
McDougall, Alex., 127 
McDougall, Campbell, 127 
McDougall, "Grannie," 10 
McDougall, John Lorn, 11, 76 
McDougall, J. L., Jr., 126 
McDougall, Samuel, 127 
McGill, David, 136 
McGregor, Peter, 7 
Mclnnes, John, 6, 71 
Mclntyre, Duncan, 78 
Mclntyre, John, Peter, Gregor, 

Duncan, 7 

Mclntyre, Malcolm, 69 
Mclntyre, Robert, 11, 68 
McKay, Wm., 77 
McKerracher, Duncan, 13 
McLarens, the, 14 
McLaren, James, 13 
McLaren, Robert, 139 
McLean, John, 120 
McLean, Thomas, 2 
McNab, Dr. John, 26, 66 
McQuitty, David, 10 
McTavish, Adam, 66, 86 

New, Jacob, 10 

O Connors, the, 12, 66 
O Dea, John, 13 
O Gorman, Sinon, 78 
O Harro, John, 80 
O Neills, the (Horton), 10 



O Reilly, Laurence, 2, 75 
O Reilly, Peter, 75 

Patterson, Archibald, 9 
Paynes, the, 10 
Pelaw, -, 20 
Philion, Joseph, 79 
Flaunt, Xavier, 8, 12, 73 
Plaunt, Xavier his gift of sites, 


Poff, John, 13 
Pomeroy, Rev. Mr., 144 
Portuguis, Peter, 10 
Prices, the, 10 

Quinn, Owen, 2, 32 

Raglan Street named, 79 
Raney, Rev. Wm., 146 
Rankin, John, Ross, 69 
Reid, James, 135 
Reynolds, James, 113 
Richards, Wm., 9 
Richardson, John, 10 
Ritchie,. Equire Joshua, 8 
Roberts, William, 19 
Roffey, James, 3 
Ross, George, Roderick, 66, 67 
Rougier, Rev. Paul, 147 
Russell, Calvin F., 38 

Saddler, Joseph, 12 
Scott, John, 136 
Sim, Robert, 134 
Seeley, Guy, 9 
Smallfield, Albert, 150 
Smallfield, W. E., 42 
Smiths, the (Horton), 10 

Smith, Archibald, 20 

Smith, Dr., 142 

Smith, John, 12, 65 

Smith, John (Exchange), 75, 86 

Sparrow, Rev. Mr., 144 

Stevensons, the; John, Henry, 112 

Stewart, David, 131 

Stewart, Donald, and family, 19 

Stewart, Donald (teacher), 128 

Stewart, Donald, 130 

Stewart, Donald, 132 

Stewart, Duncan F., 131 

Stewart, James, Sr., 7 

Stewart, James, 130 

Stewart, John, 6, 128 

Stewart, J. R., 131 

Stewart, Peter S., 129 

Stewart, Robert, 130 

Stirling, James, 20 

Sullivans, the, 9 

Thompson, Archibald, 3, 11, 36, 68 
Thomson, Rev. George, 63 

Vance, John, 10 
Vondette, - , 2 

Walford, Stephen, 79, 112 
Walker, Rev. Jas. A. K., 82 
Walker, Rev. Thos. A., 146 
Ward, James, 41, 80 
Watt, James, 79 
Watt, William, 13 
Watt, William, 75 
Williams, Henry, 10 
Wilson, Robert Rule, 36, 49 
Wright, A. A., 122 
Wright, Orange, 77 


OF Iffltt.